Governor Polis & Ag. Commissioner Greenberg Request CARES Act Funds for @Colorado from @USDA

Center, Colorado, is surrounded by center-pivot-irrigated farms that draw water from shrinking aquifers below the San Luis Valley. Photo credit: Google Earth

Here’s the release from the Colorado Department of Agriculture:

Gov. Jared Polis and Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on April 9, 2020 requesting he consider the vital contributions and current needs of Colorado agriculture in the distribution of funds available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is the federal stimulus Congress recently approved.

“In Colorado, we have come together in bipartisan leadership to show our shared commitment to all who grow and raise food, steward land and water, and keep our rural economies strong. This includes the farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, truck drivers, distributors, processors, retailers, and everyone in between who works to provide American consumers with the highest quality food, fuel, and fiber products in the world. We stand united in our vision of and commitment to a prosperous future for all who work in the Colorado food and agriculture industry,” Governor Polis and Commissioner Greenberg wrote.

The letter highlighted the importance of leveraging economic relief and support in Colorado for:

  • Livestock producers
  • Marketing programs for specialty crops and local food systems
  • Conservation programs
  • Industrial hemp and biofuel producers
  • Farmworkers, family farms, small businesses and independent operators
  • Rural healthcare and mental health programs
  • Farm Service Agency loans, rural broadband and food access
  • The letter also requested that funding be made available through block grants provided directly to states, territories, and tribes. In addition to providing immediate relief to independent local producers, grant funds would also be invested in agricultural market opportunities and local food systems across the food and agriculture supply chain.

    “We are grateful for your ongoing partnership and look forward to strengthening that in the weeks and months ahead. In particular, our Colorado Department of Agriculture is ready and able to partner with you in our joint effort of serving all of Colorado agriculture, our rural communities, and ultimately all who eat,” the letter concludes.

    USDA is finalizing its approach to disbursing $15 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) relief funds and $9.5 billion in relief funds authorized by Congress as part of the CARES Act.

    Click here to view the letter.

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