Colorado Farm Bureau has a successful 2016 legislative session
Centennial, Colo. – May 13, 2016 – The 2016 Colorado legislative session has come to an end and Colorado Farm Bureau successfully worked with both parties to pass legislation to protect agriculture and rural values.
“We had an outstanding session working with both democrats and republicans to create the best possible outcome for our members,” said Don Shawcroft, president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “This is credit to our grassroots, non-partisan policy and our members willingness to speak out.”
Throughout the session, CFB took positions on various bills ranging from water and property rights, infrastructure, energy, wildlife, agriculture innovation grants, conservation easements, veterinary oversight, groundwater proceedings and animal welfare.
With Colorado being a headwater state, water legislation always dominates the conversation. CFB proved to be a leader on discussions regarding water policy issues ranging from permit coordination for storage projects to finding ways to lower the high groundwater in the South Platte. CFB was also supported the Rain Barrell bill which now makes it legal for residents to own two 55-gallon rain barrels to collect rainwater to use in their yards. With regards to designated ground water, CFB strongly supported a bill that would have changed the information that applicants and objectors could bring to court in an appeals situation. This was an effort to continue to protect ag water from “buy and dry,” however the bill failed in the Senate Judiciary committee. In spite of some difficult conversations, CFB was able to protect water rights across the state throughout the legislative session .
“As always, water was a big issue and Colorado Farm Bureau proved to be the agricultural voice in water policy discussions,” said Shawcroft. “We were instrumental in safeguarding water rights and made it a top priority to protect the Prior Appropriations Doctrine.”
This year CFB supported the New Farmer Bill. A bill that created a tax credit for farmers and ranchers who lease their ag assets such as land or equipment to a young or beginning farmer that meets the criteria.
CFB also had the opportunity to engage on a Veterinary Pharmaceuticals bill that created a veterinary advisory board to the state pharmacy board that consists of veterinarians and veterinary products distributors to help oversee laws and regulations in the animal and livestock industries.
“All in all, the 2016 Colorado legislative session was a success for Colorado Farm Bureau,” continued Shawcroft. “Even though the Colorado session is over, Colorado Farm Bureau will continue to work with legislators, regulators and others to preserve our family farms and protect the Colorado way of life.”
Colorado Farm Bureau is the state’s largest grassroots organization with over 24,000 members across the state. CFB seeks to promote and protect the future of agriculture and rural values.