Dear Supporters and Stakeholders,
We want your ideas on how the Colorado Department of Agriculture can further support the short and long-term recovery of agricultural producers and workers, food systems, and our non-producer stakeholders.
Are there federal policies we should be advocating for? Are there state legislative changes that would be helpful? Are there rules and regulations getting in the way of recovery? Is there a need to support new market opportunities? Please complete this form by May 15, 2020.
What has CDA been doing for our stakeholders?
As soon as COVID-19 began impacting Colorado, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) began responding on behalf of Colorado’s agricultural producers and workers, other industry stakeholders, and consumers. Our priority goal was to maintain the safety and integrity of the food supply chain to ensure that all Coloradans have access to the food that they need and producers have access to markets. We created an internal team to identify issues and opportunities in the supply chain and to work with the Governor’s Office, State Emergency Operations Center, other government agencies and the private sector to rapidly address issues. Thanks to the efforts of many Coloradans, we have been able to quickly address concerns and ensure that consumers have access to basic necessities.
Soon after the initial response, CDA began to focus on the short term response and recovery efforts. These efforts include advocating for all of our stakeholders in the state and federal response. CDA has been working with the Governor’s Office and our federal delegation on behalf of Colorado agriculture as the federal aid packages are being crafted. Additionally, we have been working with the USDA to ask that all Colorado producers are provided the support they need with the funding they received from the CARES Act. Initially, there was misinformation about agriculture producers qualifying for the Small Business Administration’s loan programs. We have been working with the SBA, and USDA to provide clarification on these programs and clear guidance to lenders. Another important aspect of the short term recovery is maintaining operations by ensuring worker health and access to PPE and testing. CDA has been working to get resources and access to PPE for critical agriculture workers. We are also advocating for testing priority for our critical agriculture and food supply chain workers.
As we start looking at long term recovery it is important to address the needs of all our stakeholders and invest in the health and resilience of Colorado agriculture. CDA is committed to working with you, our partners, to advocate for all of Colorado’s agricultural producers and workers, and our non-producer stakeholders. To address needs and coordinate recovery efforts we want to hear from you about your needs and ideas to ensure Colorado agriculture and all our stakeholders are positioned to be successful as we recover. Please complete this form by May 15, 2020. We will follow up in June with a summary of the ideas you shared with us.
Thank you for your tireless work and ongoing support.
Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture