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1435DD34EA7F13038725836800621103 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SMART ACT PRESENTATION

JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON JOINT AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Date Dec 19, 2018      
Location Old State Library



Department of Agriculture SMART Act Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


10:51:11 AM  
Commissioner Don Brown, Department of Agriculture, introduced
himself to the committee and provided an overview of the department.  The
department's regulatory agenda and performance plan can be accessed through
the committee's website here:
http://leg.colorado.gov/node/1220431/.
 Commissioner Brown also distributed a copy of his presentation [Attachment
A].
11:04:57 AM  
Commissioner Brown discussed the department's new laboratory
facilities located in the department campus in Broomfield.  The relocation
of the laboratories will complete the department office consolidation project
that began in 2014.  He also discussed the Agriculture Workforce Development
Program, created by Senate Bill 18-042, and the Federal Lands Program.
 The commissioner talked about the increase in members of the Colorado
Proud Program, as well as a new branding for the program.
11:13:13 AM  
Commissioner Brown discussed the current state of Colorado's
food and agricultural industry and stated that there has been a steady
decline in Colorado net farm income.  He emphasized the increase in
the cost of producing and a decrease in working capital nationally.  He
provided a summary of imports from the state and specifically discussed
the decrease of soybean exports nationally.  He also discussed the
decline of commodity prices in recent years.  The commissioner highlighted
state industries with an increase in productivity.  He also discussed
the Colorado Industrial Hemp Program and distributed a summary of the program
[Attachment B].  He explained that the General Assembly will need
to pass legislation to stop a repeal of the program due to the recent changes
in federal law regarding industrial hemp.
11:24:38 AM  
Tom Lipetzky, Director of the Markets Division
CDA, introduced himself to the committee and provided an update of the
department's performance plan.  He explained the department's mission
and priorities for the upcoming year.  
11:34:27 AM  
Joy Moore, Chief Financial Officer, introduced herself to the committee and discussed the department's FY 2019-20 budget request. She discussed a budget request to manage and distribute biological control agents as a form of pest control. She also discussed a request to increase international marketing efforts aimed at helping Colorado food and agricultural suppliers develop new markets.
11:38:00 AM  
Ms. Moore responded to questions from the
committee regarding federal funding for pest control and the use of rust
to eliminate Canadian Thistle.
11:39:17 AM  
Commissioner Brown discussed the department's
legislative agenda.   Legislative priorities include incorporating
the Food Safety Modernization Act into state statute and expanding the
authority of the Groundwater Protection program to include the monitoring
and testing of surface water.  He also discussed upcoming Sunset Reviews,
including the Seed Potato Act, Public Livestock Markets, and the Pet Animal
Care Facility Act.  
11:45:44 AM  
Karen Lover, Executive Assistant, discussed rulemaking activities that occurred in 2018.
11:46:19 AM  
Mr. Lipetzsky responded to questions from
the committee regarding the Colorado Proud Program.  Commissioner
Brown responded to questions regarding federal changes to laws concerning
industrial hemp.  Mr. Lipetzky responded to questions from the committee
concerning the engagement of a younger demographic in the agriculture industry.
11:58:17 AM  
Commissioner Brown responded to questions from the committee regarding the mental health crisis in the agriculture industry.
11:58:18 AM  
The committee recessed.






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