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A service for agriculture industry professionals · Friday, May 24, 2024 · 714,406,691 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Colorado Comeback Bills to Support Agriculture Industry Become Law

DENVER, CO – Yesterday, the governor signed two Colorado Comeback bills into law that aim to support our state’s agriculture industry. The first bill will provide funding for the National Western Stock Show, the Colorado State Fair, and other local/county agricultural events throughout the state. The second bill includes funding to implement the Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program to support first-time farmers, ranchers and businesses.

HB21-1262, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senate President Leroy Garcia, that invests $25 million into the National Western Complex to ensure the Stock Show remains in Colorado – a staple to the state’s agricultural economy and Denver’s economy – and provides $3.5 million to the National Western, $5 million for the State Fair, and $2 million to agricultural events and organizations across the state.

“Pueblo has hosted the Colorado State Fair since its inception nearly 150 years ago. It isn’t just a statewide tradition, it is an opportunity for economic development in Pueblo and Southern Colorado,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo)“An economic recovery would be incomplete without making strong investments in the financial health of Southern Colorado and the agriculture industry, which is why I’m proud to see that my bill to invest $5 million to support the State Fair is officially the law of the land!” 

SB21-248, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Temp Kerry Donovan, allocates $30 million to create and implement the Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program. This program will provide low-interest loans to beginning farmers and ranchers as well as farm-to-market infrastructure loans for businesses – putting Colorado on a pathway toward a sustainable and prosperous future for the agriculture industry.

“The most pressing challenges that lie ahead for Colorado – water and drought, wildfires, and labor shortages  all have a major impact on the agriculture industry,” said Senator Kerry Donovan (D-Vail)“By transferring this $30 million into the Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program we invest not only in the present recovery of the industry, but in the long-term success of agriculture in our state. The program will empower and support a new generation of farmers and ranchers in Colorado who will shepherd the industry forward.”

Although Colorado’s vibrant agricultural sector has served as the backbone of the state’s economy for decades, the industry must navigate a tumultuous future in which an estimated 64% of Colorado producers will exit farming, and over 20 million acres of Colorado’s agricultural land will need a new farmer. This bill will negotiate these challenges, invest in the future of Colorado agriculture, and provide incentives to build capacity for beginning farmers and ranchers.

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