July 1, 2016, Fort Collins, Colo. – On June 29, 2016, Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC) and Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG) hosted Congressman Ken Buck (R – CO) on a tour of the wheat industry in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.
Stops included a tour of Progressive Farms in Deer Trail, a town hall meeting at Beedy Farms near Genoa, and a tour of Flagler Equity Co-Op in Flagler.
Progressive Farms highlighted the costs of production, with the Congressman learning about the latest in harvesting equipment and the significance of affordable crop insurance; different methods of production were also discussed, including the importance of being able to utilize technological advances to increase yields and farm more sustainably.
At Beedy Farms in Genoa, topics of conversation ranged from how to get more young people to come back to production agriculture to how the 2016 presidential campaign will reshape agricultural policy in the next few years. The Congressman also toured a wheat field that was affected by stripe rust, which brought up how farmers must be able to use tools such as fungicide and herbicide applications to protect their crops.
At the final stop in Flagler, the tour included a demonstration of how to assess wheat quality and discussion of limited storage space for this year’s harvest because of surplus remaining from last year.
With wheat farmers from around the district attending the tours, more than 50 people turned out to discuss issues facing agriculture in the 4th District. At the top of the list were concerns about the federal GMO labeling bill, the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, and the upcoming Farm Bill. While Congress remains deadlocked on these issues, Buck said he was optimistic about finding a trade deal that was in the best interest of the country, and passing a food labeling bill that would prevent a patchwork of regulations from state agencies.
Also in attendance was Colorado State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling). Pleased with the event, Sonnenberg said, “It’s important to hold these types of events so our congressional delegation understands the issues we face in rural Colorado. We’re a small community in agriculture, but we impact society in a big way. Having seen and heard firsthand some of struggles we’re facing now, such as low commodity prices and a bumper crop of wheat this year, Ken will be able to take this information back to Washington and help our farmers effect real change to ensure we can continue to produce food for the world.”