Kate Greenberg, Colorado’s first female ag commissioner, reaches out to farmers, ranchers across the state — The Denver Post

Kate Greenberg. Photo credit: National Young Farmers Coalition

Here’s a report from The Denver Post (Judith Kohler). Here’s an excerpt:

As state agriculture commissioner, Greenberg wants to travel to as many places as possible. She has also mapped out a set of four major priorities and relishes detailing them.

“Are you ready for the next one?” Greenberg asks as she dives into discussing her priorities. “Are you ready for No. 3? Are you ready for No. 4?”

The road Greenberg traveled to her new job as Colorado ag commissioner is different from most of her immediate predecessors, many of whom grew up farming and ranching. Greenberg did not.

Besides her background, Greenberg is different from her predecessors in an even more fundamental way. She is the first woman to hold the job in the state’s history.

Greenberg grew up in Minnesota, was around agriculture and had friends and neighbors who farmed and ranched. However, it wasn’t until she moved to eastern Washington state that she farmed and ranched herself. There and in western Washington, Greenberg raised vegetables and livestock on community-supported farms. While with the Sonoran Institute, Greenberg worked with communities on restoration projects and managed greenhouse operations.

Most recently, Greenberg was the Western Program Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition, working on water issues and based in Durango. She graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., with a degree in environmental studies-humanities.

“I’ve always loved and worked on behalf of the outdoors, natural world,” Greenberg said. “The piece that really shifted when I came West was realizing the work people put in behind the scenes…

She wants to ensure that agriculture remains vital by supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

“We don’t have enough young people coming into agriculture, which means not only do we risk losing the legacy of the current generation, the assets, but also the land,” Greenberg said. “We are really at a fork in the road with the aging demographic overall of farmers, paired with the economics of farming right now.”

Agriculture contributes about $40 billion annually to the state’s economy, Greenberg said, making it the second-largest sector of the state’s economy.

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