2010 Colorado gubernatorial election transition: The importance of agriculture

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Pablo Carlos Mora):

“There’s not that many people who understand agriculture,” John Salazar [newly confirmed Director of the State Agriculture Department] said in a meeting Monday with The Pueblo Chieftain’s editorial board. “They think food comes from the grocery store.”[…]

Salazar talks knowledgably about the importance of water to the ag economy, the rising tide of attacks against the livestock industry and the nuances of raising organic products, both on the hoof and from seed. “I will be attending the Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Fair this week in Monte Vista,” Salazar said. “A burning issue there is the battle over establishing subdistricts governing the rights of surface water and well water users. “The potato industry is a multimillion dollar part of the valley’s economy,” he said. The outcome of the struggle “could kill the potato industry.”

Salazar backs efforts to let people know the effects of diverting water from Southern Colorado’s ag community to support urban growth. “We should explain the impact drying up one acre of agricultural land has on the economy,” he said. “No comprehensive study has been done to clearly demonstrate the devastating effects of drying up land.”

More coverage from the Associated Press via The Denver Post. From the article:

Salazar told the Pueblo Chieftain on Monday that too many people think their food comes from a grocery store, not from the people who really grow it. John Salazar says key issues facing Colorado’s agricultural industry include water, pressure from animal rights groups and food-borne illnesses.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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