Polis budget includes priorities to diversify agricultural and growing markets – Sterling Journal-Advocate

In his budget proposal for the 2023/2024 fiscal year, Governor Polis included funding for a number of key priorities for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and agriculture industry.

“Colorado agriculture is vibrant and diverse and is one of the economic engines 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, support future generations in agriculture, and improve the health and welfare of animals throughout Colorado,” said Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes funding for several CDA Department programs and priorities. To promote volunteer stewardship programs and improve market diversity, the budget proposal designates funding for a market specialist who will help create and expand market opportunities for Colorado growers growing produce. using regenerative and climate-smart agricultural practices. Specifically, this position will help create market-based incentives for growers who are part of the STAR Soil Health Program and who voluntarily implement climate-smart and drought-smart management practices in their operations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water or sequester carbon dioxide. , among other results. As CDA works to adapt the STAR program to a national model, we will lead efforts to drive widespread adoption of these practices in the private market and create market opportunities for smart growers in the face of climate.

The budget includes funding for the Palisade Insectarium, an essential resource for noxious weed managers and agricultural producers. The first part of this funding will support the improvement and expansion of the Insectarium’s greenhouse. The greenhouse serves as the primary research and development center for the 77-year-old insectarium, which imports, breeds, researches and distributes biological control agents for the state of Colorado. Successful biological pest control reduces production costs, decreases the amount of chemicals entering the environment, and establishes colonies of beneficial insects providing a natural permanent pest control solution. Additionally, a request for funding for a new lab technician will support the Insectary’s Request-a-Bug program, which allows Coloradans to order shipments of biological control agents to be used as natural techniques to mitigate the spread of pests. invasive species in the community and the agricultural industry.

To support emergency response and disease detection and response, the budget proposal includes additional funding for CDA’s Animal Health Division to support core disease detection and response functions. emergency response. The budget also calls for additional funding for a full-time compliance investigator and resources for a social services and mental health contractor for the Office of Animal Welfare.

These requests are part of Governor Polis’ FY2023-24 budget request document. The document also includes a request for funding that will benefit rural and farming communities in Colorado. For example, the budget includes $38.3 million for firefighting, including investments in preparedness and mitigation, and an additional $41 million for water quality preservation and protection. rights and access to water.

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