Polis budget includes priorities for diversifying ag, growing markets – Sterling Journal-Advocate

In his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023/2024, Governor Polis included funding for several key priorities for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the agricultural sector.

“Colorado’s agriculture is vibrant and diverse and is one of the economic drivers of our state. The Governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023-24 supports CDA’s mission to diversify supply chains, promote stewardship of our natural resources, and support future generations in rural areas and improve animal health and welfare throughout Colorado,” said Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes funding for several CDA programs and departmental priorities. To promote voluntary regulatory programs and enhance market diversity, the budget proposal designates funding for a market specialist who will help create and amplify market opportunities for Colorado producer grows commodities using regenerative and climate-smart agricultural methods. Specifically, this placement will help create market-based incentives for producers that are part of the STAR soil health program and who are voluntarily implementing climate-smart management practices. and drought in their activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water or sequester carbon dioxide, among other outcomes. As CDA works to expand the STAR program into a nationwide model, we will lead efforts to promote widespread adoption of these practices in the private market and create market opportunities for developers. Climate-smart manufacturing.

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Included in the budget is funding for Insect Palisade, an important resource for noxious weed managers and agricultural producers. The first part of this grant will support the improvement and expansion of Insect’s greenhouse. The greenhouse serves as the primary research and development facility for the 77-year-old insect, which imports, rears, researches, and distributes biocontrol agents for the state of Colorado. Successful biological pest control reduces production costs, reduces the amount of chemicals entering the environment and establishes beneficial insect colonies, providing a natural long-term pest control solution. Additionally, a funding request for a new lab technician will support the Claim a Bug Insect program, which allows Colorado residents to order shipments of biocontrol agents for use as biocontrol agents. Natural techniques to reduce the spread of invasive species in communities and the agricultural sector.

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To support emergency response and disease detection and response, the budget proposal includes additional funding for CDA’s Veterinary Division to support critical disease detection and emergency response functions. . The budget also requires additional funding for a full-time Compliance Investigator and resources for a mental health and social services contractor for the Department of Animal Welfare.

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These requirements are part of Governor Polis’ FY2023-24 Budget Requests document. The document also includes a request for funding that will benefit farming and rural communities across Colorado. For example, the budget includes $38.3 million for fire response, including investments in preparedness and mitigation, and another $41 million to conserve water quality and protect rights and access to water.

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