State Ag Commissioner Guest Speaker at Conservation District Annual


Colorado Ag Commissioner, Kate Greenburg


Colorado State Agriculture Commissioner, Kate Greenburg, was guest speaker this past Tuesday, February 18th for the Prowers Conservation District’s annual meeting at the Home Ec Building at the Prowers County Fairgrounds.

Greenburg, who is beginning her second year in office, first visited the area this past summer during a meet and greet held at Lamar Community College. “During my first six months, I made it a point to visit as many areas as I could and I still manage to get about as it’s critical that my staff and I can talk one on one so we can understand the problems you may be dealing with and let you know you have representation in Denver,” she told the gathering.

Don McBee and John Stulp

Don McBee, president of the Conservation District presented the Conservationist of the Year Award to former State Ag Commissioner, John Stulp, who accompanied Greenburg to the meeting. Local farmer, Dale Mauch was a co-recipient of the award this year. McBee is also the newest member of the State Conservation Board.

Dale Mauch and Don McBee

Greenburg told the audience of three new state laboratories which will conduct work in animal health, bio chemistry and weights and measures, all of which will have an impact for farmers, ranchers and producers in Colorado. She added that some other areas of concern for her department include traceability through animal health labs and any emergency preparedness issues for potential outbreaks in livestock such as last year’s vesicular stomatitis.

“The state’s water plan is being re-written and other initiatives being covered include water quality, safe soil issues, demand management and interstate compacts. We’ve seen increased discussion on the Colorado Proud program to promote our state’s products and increased marketing access to bring more buyers into the state, especially into rural areas through our stewardship programs for land and water,” she explained. Greenburg added that Port of Entry issues for Prowers County along Highway 50 has not been overlooked and is still a work in progress.

“We also want to continue our work with the state’s youth and their involvement in agriculture. Not so much to urge newcomers to enter the profession as that’s a difficult line to follow if you’re starting without experience of any kind. We want to focus on reducing barriers for the ones who are in and want to stay in or continue the work of their family farm. We’ve hosted a seminar on family-farm transition permit and have brought in federal funds for an ag-based mediation program to help plan for farm/family succession,” she said, adding that work continues on mental health as a core priority for her department for those producers who are struggling with finances or other stress related areas. “We are training those people in the program’s crisis hotline so they can understand the particular demands and problems producers are facing.”

Other speakers for the evening included Tim Macklin, Acting NRCS State Conservationist in Colorado, serving Area-3 and is the Emergency Watershed Protection Program Coordinator. Macklin is also the Western Governor’s Association Coordination and Western Governor’s Liaison.

Cindy Lair, the State Conservation Manager for the Colorado Conservation Board’s 76 Districts in the state, said her agency is working on ways to develop the best impact for the widest diversity of landowners. “We are always seeking grants to deal with smaller scale conservation problems, but not like large ones such as Equip,” she explained, adding that Prowers County has received quite a few grants to help finance items such as fencing projects or ditch sand traps. She said soil health is large issue, but is voluntary on the part of landowners, “ We’re trying to make it voluntary, areas that interest you such as cover crops, no-till or different ways to graze cover crops…we’ll find a way to help you on that.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEducationEnvironmentFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyTransportationUtilitiesWater


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