2022 Review from CDA Commissioner, Kate Greenberg

 

As the year comes to a close, we like to reflect on all we’ve accomplished over the past twelve months.

We’ve had many fantastic opportunities to connect with Colorado producers and see projects of all varieties and sizes take shape. Our staff worked hard to ensure state and federal funding is supporting Colorado agriculture through CDA’s many programs, such as the Colorado Agricultural Future Loan Program where new and beginning farmers and ranchers can start financing their dreams.

We have made unprecedented investments into new market opportunities, including the Colorado Proud program, farm-to-market infrastructure that advances business in regional food systems, and international business for Colorado farmers and ranchers.

More young people are pursuing futures in agriculture through our Ag Workforce Development program and the brand new Next Gen Leadership Program.

We are rolling out other new projects like the Community Food Access program, which will help us maximize opportunities for local producers to provide healthy, delicious food to their communities, and the Agricultural Worker Services Program, which will allow CDA to provide meaningful support and resources to Colorado’s ag worker communities.

Teams across all of CDA’s divisions have been working to bring in additional funding to help our agricultural communities be more prosperous and resilient. Two projects spearheaded by the Conservation Services Division staff brought in major funding for Colorado agriculture through two federal grants: the USDA Climate Smart Commodities grant ($25 million) and the America the Beautiful grant ($4 million). The former will allow Colorado to scale up our STAR program across the Intermountain West and beyond to provide bottom-line support to producers who are improving or introducing soil health practices in their operations, while the latter will support projects across five major Colorado watershed areas that improve drought and climate resilience.

We’ve also responded to tough situations, like the ongoing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza which has taxed our first responders and businesses, but also showed the strength in Colorado’s emergency response community. We were also able to bring on the state’s first full-time Agricultural Emergency Coordinator to make sure our ag communities have the support to prepare for, respond to, and recover from crisis events.

Throughout the year, we heard stories from those of you working diligently to advance and promote Colorado agriculture, despite hardships such as fire, ongoing megadrought, increased costs, and labor shortages. In each part of the state, agricultural communities are leading the way to finding local solutions and we couldn’t be more honored to work alongside you.

If you missed hearing about our many travels, partners, and projects, please catch up with our blog posts. They are Colorado’s stories because they are your stories.

As we look back on the year 2022, I am proud to close this chapter while looking forward to meeting the challenges and pursuing excellence together in 2023.

Wishing you and your families peace and joy this holiday season,

Commissioner Kate Greenberg

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia Release

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