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i_yfarmers_2017a_2017-08-10t09:01:25z7 Hearing Summary

Date: 08/10/2017

Location: SCR 357


Overview of Building Farmers Program Extension - CSU


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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01:28 PM -- Overview of Building Farmers Program Extension in Colorado State University

Senator Sonnenberg called the committee back to order.

01:30 PM

Anna Gerstle, Fiscal Analyst, Legislative Council Staff, distributed the fiscal note for House Bill 15-1230 (Attachment H), a flyer for the Innovative Internship Grant Program (Attachment I), and the program's FY 2015-16 Legislative Report (Attachment J). Ms. Gerstle gave a brief background and description of the program and discussed the definition of "innovative industries," as it is defined in the act.

170810 AttachH.pdf170810 AttachH.pdf170810 AttachI.pdf170810 AttachI.pdf170810 AttachJ.pdf170810 AttachJ.pdf

01:35 PM

Adrian Card, Colorado State University Extension, distributed a brochure regarding the Colorado Building Farmers (CBF) Program (Attachment K), an impact sheet regarding the program (Attachment L), and a copy of his presentation (Attachment M). Mr. Card discussed the development of CBF Program and explained that the scope of the program includes business planning and management, as well as experiential learning. He described how the program benefits beginning farmers and ranchers and described the CBF Program curriculum. Mr. Card discussed how CBF Program partners with Guidestone Colorado and the Land Link Program.

170810 AttachK.pdf170810 AttachK.pdf170810 AttachL.pdf170810 AttachL.pdf170810 AttachM.pdf170810 AttachM.pdf

01:45 PM

Mr. Card discussed CBF Program's strengths and weaknesses. He listed the following as strengths of the program: the program's low cost, the ability to assist farmers in establishing a network, and mentorships. He discussed the weaknesses of the CBF Program, which includes challenges in teaching production skills, following up with graduates of the program, the lack of a statewide administration, and limited CBF Program staff time. Mr. Card discussed CBF Program impacts, including the large amounts of graduates of the program and increased staff knowledge. Mr. Card described the current climate in the agricultural sector as compared to 2006, before the inception of CBF Program. He discussed challenges that beginning farmers and ranchers face, including access to resources, readiness for wholesale markets, and rising land and water costs. Mr. Card discussed additional challenges for the CBF Program, including lack of funding for a statewide program.

01:57 PM

Mr. Card discussed the development of a Colorado Beginning Farmer and Rancher Center and discussed the benefits of such a center or network. The benefits he listed included giving administrative support for existing programs, brining more awareness to beginning farmer and rancher issues in the state, and providing a support system for agricultural transition and experiential learning. Mr. Card responded to questions regarding the percentage of beginning farmers and ranchers who fail, the CSU Extension Division, and the potential Beginning Farmer and Rancher Center.

02:04 PM

Mr. Card answered further questions regarding the allocation of resources for CBF Program and other similar programs if those programs were to be combined and administered statewide. He also answered questions regarding success rates of participants of CBF Program.