CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Brighton, Colo., Addresses Federal Issues of Concern to Colorado Produce Growers
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) President Robert Sakata is today winding up a visit to the nation’s capital to meet with elected officials and government agency representatives on issues key to the success of Colorado produce growers. Organized by Western Growers, the national legislative event took place May 10-12.
“I am honored to be able to speak for Colorado produce growers on some key federal issues that are important to all of us,” said Sakata. “In our meetings we have asked for members of Congress to support a bill currently being reviewed in committee that would mitigate the impact of drought in the West. We also need the support of Congress and immigration authorities to pass legislation and more efficiently implement current policies to enable Colorado growers to bring in foreign nationals as farm labor, especially during harvest.”
Some of the other issues addressed by Sakata and other produce growers included the impact of international trade agreements on Colorado fruit and vegetable growers and access to crop protection resources necessary for commercial produce production.
Sakata, owner-operator of Sakata Family Farms, Brighton, Colo., met with U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and with Reps. Ken Buck and Mike Coffman. He also joined the Western Growers group, which met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Agriculture Committee, as well as with Darci Vetter, the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief agriculture trade negotiator and Daniel Hernandez-Joseph of the Embassy of Mexico. Also participating in this event were CFVGA members Vic and Kyle Smith, Southern Colorado Farms, Center, Colo.
The CFVGA is comprised of more than 150 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $300 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 60,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production. For more on the CFVGA, visithttp://coloradoproduce.org