Two New Regional Assistant Commissioners to join Colorado Department of Agriculture


Broomfield, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture has hired two new Regional Assistant Commissioners to help strengthen the agency’s connection to agricultural communities across the state. These positions were created last year and serve as a key resource to continue building and maintaining trusted relationships with rural communities and ag producers across the state.

Riley May from Prowers County and Nick Perchess from Pueblo County will join CDA’s two current Regional Assistant Commissioners Jo Stanko from Routt County and George Whitten from Saguache County. They went through a competitive application process and were selected as the finalists for these two positions. The new Regional Assistant Commissioners will start at CDA in early May.

“These positions help CDA engage with farmers and ranchers directly in their communities, and they bring information about what’s relevant to producers back to CDA,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “The Regional Assistant Commissioners are experienced ag producers who have strong relationships within their communities and help bring in voices that represent diverse experiences with issues critical to agriculture.”

Nick Perchess is the owner-operator of Nola Naturals Farms, a 45 acre regenerative farm in Avondale, Colorado.  “Nurturing soil health, tending to animals, and ensuring the well-being of our ecosystems is my daily bread,” said Nick Perchess. “My mission is to create exemplary models for future farming practices, drawing from the wisdom of past generations, and kindling the flame of excitement for the next seven generations.” Perchess has experience with diverse facets of agriculture, from a multi species pasture-raised and finished meat business with on-site processing facility, to the cultivation of stone fruit from her 400 tart cherry trees. Her farm, which operates through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, also produces honey, heirloom hot house tomatoes, and storage hardneck garlic. Nola Naturals is also home to Pastures of Liberty, a dairy operation that sustains more than 100 families across four southern Colorado counties. Perchess has been involved in organizations such as the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Pueblo County Stockmen’s Association, is on the board of SOIL Sangre De Cristo and the Pueblo County Farm Bureau, and serves as Vice President of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

Riley May comes from a ranching and farming family from Prowers County. Like many farm kids, he started working at the family operation at a young age, raising and selling purebred cattle and raising irrigated alfalfa and corn. He now has his own irrigated farm and continues working daily in the family ranch and farming operation, as well as managing his own farm.  “I’m deeply committed to enhancing sustainable practices in ranching and farming that not only benefit agriculture but all citizens of the state who enjoy a socioeconomic benefit from this type of management,” said Riley May. “Because of my strong conservation values, I am constantly searching for ways in which farming, ranching and the preservation of wildlife and associated habitat can coexist.”  May has served on the State Veterinary Board and CDA’s Soil Health Advisory Committee and sits on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Habitat Partnership Program State Council. May Ranch holds an Audubon Conservation Ranching Certification and participates in a carbon offset program through the Cool Effect. May is also an active member of Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

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