SMART Act Presentation from Department of Agriculture
COMMITTEE ON JOINT AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
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04:35 PM -- SMART Act Presentation from Department of Agriculture
Don Brown, Commissioner, Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), introduced himself and gave a brief overview of the CDA. Commissioner Brown distributed a presentation regarding the department's budget and performance plan (Attachment E). The committee also received copies of the department's FY2016-17 Annual Performance Evaluation and the performance plan for FY 2018-19 (Attachments F and G). Commissioner Brown discussed the organization of CDA and briefly discussed specific programs within the department. He discussed the state of the agricultural economy in the state and public attitudes of the industry. Commissioner Brown also discussed the increased amount of farms that are closing in the state and the lack of young farmers in the industry. He also discussed the Ag Crisis program and how that is helping farmers dealing with difficult times.
171221 AttachF.pdf https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/CDA%20FY18%20Performance%20Plan%20%286-21-17%29.pdf (AttachG)
Tom Lipetzky, Director, Markets Division, introduced himself to the committee and provided the committee with an update of the department's performance plan. Mr. Lipetzky discussed the three main strategic policy initiatives of the department: enhance public understanding of Colorado agriculture; increase marketing and sales opportunities throughout the state's food and agriculture value chain; and make it easier for our customers to do business with the department. Mr. Lipetzky stated that the department is making positive progress toward achieving the strategic policy initiatives. He discussed the consolidation of CDA offices and other efficiencies the department has implemented in order to achieve these initiatives.
Mr. Lipetzky responded to questions from the committee regarding Colorado's beef market and the labeling of beef produced outside of the United States. He discussed the Colorado Proud program and how the CDA is encouraging producers to enroll in that program.
Commissioner Brown discussed the CDA's legislative agenda: a bill that would amend the 1939 Marketing Act to include millet; and a bill that would amend the Nursery Act to clarify which plants are regulated as nursery stock, among other provisions.
Joy Huse, Chief Financial Officer, discussed CDA's FY 2018-19 budget requests. The two requests are an increase in funding and addition of FTE to provide resources for technical assistance and stakeholder engagement during the federal lands planning process; and the renewal of appropriations to continue regulating the marijuana industry.
Karen Lover, Executive Assistant, CDA, discussed the department's regulatory agenda and rule-making activities of the department.
Hollis Glenn, CDA, responded to questions from the committee regarding a change in protocol in the certified weighing program.
The committee adjourned.