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65465C85854AC36C87258471005B9289 Hearing Summary


Date Sep 10, 2019      
Location HCR 0112

Panel on Agricultural Recycling, Composting, and Waste Management - Committee Discussion Only

10:40:15 AM  

Dr. Phil Taylor, Mad Agriculture, presented to the committee on carbon farming and soil health policy, and distributed a handout to the committee (Attachment C).  Dr. Taylor reviewed soil health principles, soil health practices, and the benefits of carbon farming. He outlined some of the barriers to carbon farming, including costs and establishing markets. He refenced NORI, a carbon removal marketplace that is launching in 2020, which will pay farmers for storing carbon in the soil.

10:51:56 AM  

Max Neumeyer, Mad Agriculture, discussed states that have soil health policies. He specifically highlighted New Mexico, Nebraska, and California. Mr. Neumeyer discussed corporations that are making soil health a priority and markets for ecosystem services. He outlined obstacles to carbon farming, possible policy solutions, and soil health policies in Colorado.

10:58:40 AM  

Travis Hertenky, THEngineering, presented to the committee on zero waste and recycling in agriculture, and provided a handout to the committee (Attachment D). Mr. Hertenky discussed his organization and the types of waste produced by farms, including manure, waste feed, mortalities, processing, and trash. He stated that there are no agricultural digesters in Colorado. He reviewed aspects of land application of manure. He discussed aspects of recycling in agriculture, including reuse of various food products, use of tires, and construction materials.

11:08:50 AM  

Jordan Beezley, Department of Agriculture, provided information about the department's role in soil health and composting. He discussed research being conducted by the department on soil health.

11:11:21 AM  

Ken Lipton, Shavano Conservation District, presented to the committee via phone conference. He discussed soil health and agriculture. He reviewed information related to carbon sequestration and the challenges to soil health, especially the recovery of upfront costs. He referenced the soil health resolutions being considered by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts. Mr. Lipton outlined possible legislation, including grants for soil health projects and early adopters of soil health practices. He outlined the role of conservation districts in grant programs. He referenced the Shavano Conservation District's annual conference on soil health. Mr. Lipton discussed cap and trade programs for carbon emissions, financial incentives for organic and composted materials, and statewide programs for soil health.

11:20:18 AM  

The panel answered questions from the committee about a potential loan program for agriculture producers to address soil health. Mr. Lipton discussed cover crops. Mr. Neumeyer responded to questions about the role of federal government in addressing crop insurance. Mr. Hertenky answered questions about the use of waste tires in agriculture. The committee discussed carbon markets and the federal Conservation Reserve Program with the panel.