In his Fiscal Year 2023/2024 budget proposal, Governor Polis included funding for a number of key priorities for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and agricultural industry.
“Colorado’s agriculture is vibrant and diverse and is one of the economic drivers of our state. The Governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023-24 supports CDA’s mission to diversify supply chains, promote stewardship of our natural resources, support future generations in agriculture, and improve the health and welfare of animals across Colorado,” said Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg.
The Governor’s budget proposal includes funding for several CDA programs and department priorities. To promote volunteer stewardship programs and improve market diversity, the budget proposal designates funding for a market specialist who will help create and amplify market opportunities for Colorado producers growing commodities using regenerative and climate-smart agricultural practices. Specifically, this position will help create market-based incentives for producers who are part of the STAR soil health program and who are voluntarily implementing climate and drought management practices in their operations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, or sequester carbon dioxide. carbon. , among other results. As CDA works to scale the STAR program into a nationwide model, we will lead efforts to encourage widespread adoption of these practices in the private market and create market opportunities for climate-smart producers.
Included in the budget is funding for the Palisade Insectary, an important resource for weed managers and ag producers. The first part of this funding will support the improvement and expansion of the Insectarium greenhouse. The greenhouse serves as a primary research and development facility for the 77-year-old entomologist, which imports, researches, and distributes biological control agents for the state of Colorado. Successful biological pest control reduces production costs, reduces the amount of chemicals entering the environment, and establishes beneficial insect colonies that offer a permanent natural pest control solution. In addition, a funding request for a new lab technician will support the Insectary’s Request-a-Bug program, which allows Colorists to order shipments of biocontrol agents for use as natural techniques to reduce the spread of invasive species in the community and agriculture industry.
To support emergency response and disease detection and response, the budget proposal includes additional funding for CDA’s Division of Animal Health to support critical disease detection and emergency response functions. The budget also calls for additional funding for a full-time Compliance Investigator and resources for a social services and mental health contractor for the Office of Animal Protection.
These requests are part of the Police Governor’s FY2023-24 Budget Request document. The document also includes a request for funding that will benefit rural and agricultural communities across Colorado. For example, the budget includes $38.3 million for fire response, including investments in preparation and mitigation, and another $41 million to preserve water quality and protect water rights and access.