Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today heard from local producers on the challenges they are facing due to severe drought conditions during a tour of Crowley County Ranch. The event is part of a two-day swing through Colorado’s Eastern Plains that will highlight the need to create jobs, support family farmers and ranchers, and boost economic development in Colorado’s rural communities.
“Colorado farmers and ranchers are experiencing one of the hottest and driest summers in our state’s history,” Bennet said. “Here in Crowley County and across the state, producers are struggling through a very difficult growing season. Congress needs to pass get its act together and pass the 2012 Farm Bill, which includes a number of provisions to provide relief and certainty to Colorado producers suffering from the drought.”
In the face of the state’s worst drought in 50 years, Bennet and Senator Mark Udall wrote a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last month asking for federal assistance for Colorado farmers and ranchers, who are facing severe drought conditions that are threatening crops, livestock and rural livelihoods. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared all of Colorado’s counties as disaster areas due to losses caused by drought, excessive heat, and high winds.
Last month, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor to urge the House to take up and pass a full five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. He also sent a letter to House leadership, along with Senator Mark Udall, urging passage the bill, which includes vital resources to assist farmers and ranchers suffering from the drought.