Michael Bennet U.S. Senator for ColoradoMenu
Michael believes a resilient agricultural sector is vital to a strong, thriving economy. This is certainly true in Colorado, where a proud tradition of farming and ranching generates more than $40 billion in economic output each year. As chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Climate, Forestry, and Natural Resources, Michael has made it a priority to bring the diverse voices of Colorado to the debate in Washington.
As a longstanding Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Michael has helped pass two bipartisan Farm Bills and is working towards reauthorization of the 2023 Farm Bill. To help write the Farm Bill, Michael relies on input from dozens of Farm Bill Listening Sessions across the state to identify Colorado’s priorities. Thanks to this input from Coloradans, the 2014 Farm Bill strengthened crop insurance, improved disaster assistance, streamlined conservation programs, and provided new tools for the Forest Service to increase wildfire mitigation and forest restoration.
Four years later, Michael worked hard to ensure the 2018 Farm Bill placed a greater emphasis on Western lands, water, and wildlife. He fought to increase funding for agricultural conservation easements so Western landowners can pass their farm or ranch to their children and grandchildren, expand voluntary access for sportsmen, and incorporate programs to improve soil health, enhance farm resilience, and increase carbon sequestration. As Congress prepares to write the next Farm Bill, Michael will continue to listen to Coloradans to build on the progress of his previous work and fight to ensure farmers, ranchers, and rural communities have a voice in Washington.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, Michael works to maintain and improve access to international export markets for Colorado’s agricultural products. Michael recognizes that the strength of our farm economy at home depends in part on increasing access to markets abroad and he is committed to bolstering a farm economy in Colorado that provides opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers to thrive.
Forests and watersheds are as important to Colorado’s infrastructure as the Brooklyn Bridge is to New York. However, decades of federal and state underfunding and record, climate-driven wildfires have put our forests and watersheds at risk. After a devastating fire season in 2020, Michael wrote the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act to make a historic investment in forest restoration and wildfire resilience,, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and drive local economies by creating or sustaining up to two million jobs.
For years, Michael has heard from Coloradans about the need to partner with local communities to dramatically scale up our forest and watershed investments. He helped secure over $14 billion for our forests and western water infrastructure in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and continues to urge Washington to make an investment in our forests and watershed that matches the scale of the challenge.