DENVER, CO — Governor Polis today signed two bills to support Colorado’s agriculture industry, investing in agricultural products and helping farmers improve their soil health to deal with droughts and increasingly dry conditions.
“Colorado’s Agricultural products are not only known locally but known for their high quality and wonderful taste around the country,” said Rep Donald Valdez, D- La Jara, sponsor of SB21-203. “With the Colorado Proud brand, our products will soon be known around the world. Today is a wonderful day for Colorado’s farmers and ranchers who continue to provide food on our tables and are the stewards of our land.”
Colorado’s robust agricultural sector has been the backbone of our economy for decades, and the pandemic has burdened the industry with unique challenges that require additional resources to overcome. To accelerate the economic recovery of our agricultural and rural communities, SB21-203, which is a part of the Colorado Comeback State Stimulus package and is also sponsored by Representative Rod Pelton, R-Cheyenne Wells, provides $2.5 million to the Colorado Proud program within the Department of Agriculture. Colorado Proud provides new opportunities for Colorado’s food and agricultural producers to increase sales globally and helps support the growth and resiliency of Colorado food systems.
“Soil health is a crucial part of any agricultural operation, but Colorado’s increasingly dry conditions make it even more critical,” said Rep. Karen McCormick, D-Longmont, sponsor of HB21-1181. “This new, voluntary program will help Colorado’s farmers improve their productivity and create sustainable practices in the face of drought and decreased water supplies. It’s up to all of us to ensure Colorado’s agriculture industry stays healthy and vibrant well into the future.”
HB21-1181 creates the Soil Health Program to help Colorado deal with droughts and dwindling water supplies that are becoming more extreme as the impacts of climate change worsen every year. The program provides voluntary incentives to support the vitality of the agriculture industry statewide by sharing best soil health practices with farmers, seeking to improve soil productivity and drought resilience while making operations more sustainable.