Yuma, Greeley Ag Forums yield sound advice for Rep. Gardner
COLO. – Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) wrapped up the first chapter of his 4th district agricultural forums yesterday, saying the experience was both educational and emotional.
“I’d like to thank everyone that made it to our forums in Yuma and Greeley yesterday,” Gardner said. “The testimony from various groups and local farmers was heartfelt and will certainly help shape the conversation about this year’s farm bill reauthorization. It is so important that we give the agricultural community the certainty it deserves by passing a bill this year, and I promise to take all of the feedback from producers in the 4th Congressional District back to Washington.”
The first forum of the day was in Yuma. Despite inclement weather, a crowd of about 35 people showed up to share their ideas for the farm bill with the Congressman. Commodity prices, farm subsidies and crop insurance were a big part of the conversation at the Yuma forum.
The Greeley forum focused on how to attract young people to farming and ranching and had about 60 people in attendance. Access to capital and the ability to make a profit were among the chief ideas proposed for bringing more young people into the industry. Attendees also expressed concerns about the estate tax, also known as the death tax, because it is paid on inheritance. At one point during the forum it was stated that the death tax is the number one killer of farms and ranches because those who inherit valuable agricultural land do not have the cash on hand to pay the death tax.
Repeatedly heard throughout the day was the suggestion that the “farm bill” should actually be called the “food bill” since farming is just one small piece of the legislation. A significant portion of the farm bill actually deals with nutrition issues, like the school lunch program.
Gardner will host a third forum Wednesday in Lamar.