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Our nation's long-term prosperity depends on thriving rural communities. This is certainly true in Colorado, where farming and ranching are a proud tradition and a vital part of our economy. For many years, rural Coloradans have persevered in the face of drought, scarce resources, freezing temperatures and scorching heat, ensuring that our state and country has a reliable, safe, high-quality supply of food.

Michael took an active role in the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, serving on the conference committee that negotiated the final law. After dozens of meetings across Colorado, Michael included several provisions into the final bill that were written by the state's farmers and ranchers, including a stronger crop insurance program and a greater focus on conservation.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Michael is advocating for Colorado farmers by ensuring the quick and effective implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, expanding opportunities for new and existing farms to take advantage of new markets and industries, and conserving our forests and agricultural land so we can enjoy our state's natural resources.

  • As a member of the conference committee that negotiated the 2014 Farm Bill, Michael secured several provisions that will support and protect Colorado's farmers and ranchers, including:
    • Streamlined conservation programs that give landowners and producers more opportunities to enter into conservation easement agreements across the state;
    • Reauthorization for the Forest Service's popular stewardship contracting and "Good Neighbor" authorities, which have become important tools for forest managers and promote public-private partnerships that create Colorado jobs;
    • Support to help mitigate Colorado's bark beetle epidemic; and 
    • Funding for five new air tankers that are critical to fight forest fires.
  • Michael worked with the Food and Drug Administration to minimize the impact of new federal regulations that would have made it harder and prohibitively expensive for Colorado's brewers and producers to sell leftover grains as animal feed. In April 2014, the FDA committed to revising the proposed rule to ensure that there is no confusion in the new ruling and that the selling of spent grains as animal feed is not compromised as a result of the new rules

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