WHEREAS agriculture has always been one of the cornerstones of Colorado’s economy; and
WHEREAS Colorado is a statutory Right to Farm state; and
WHEREAS agriculture also serves the increasingly important function of providing essential wildlife habitat and scenic vistas for all Coloradans to enjoy; and
WHEREAS the agriculture industry is only marginally profitable due to competitive markets (both domestic and international), weather patterns, and many other factors out of the control of individual ag producers; and
WHEREAS, as a result of Colorado’s growing population and the resulting escalation of speculative land values, an increasing number of agriculture producers have opted to sell their productive lands to be converted to residential and commercial development, to the point where Colorado is now losing to development thousands of acres of productive farmland every year; and
WHEREAS a study conducted by the Colorado Farm Bureau identifies these and other challenges facing ag producers and draws into question the future viability of this important industry; and
WHEREAS the average age of current producers is 57 and barriers to entry for youth continue to increase; and
WHEREAS more local, state, and federal laws and regulations are infringing upon property rights and are creating takings of those property rights; and
WHEREAS there is a growing uncertainty of access to public lands for agriculture use;
NOW THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 urges the creation of a task force to assess the future of agriculture in Colorado and make appropriate recommendations as to what the state of Colorado can do to ensure a viable future for this important industry.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED CLUB 20 supports specific ag education throughout the educational system including high school, vocational technology and higher education levels.
Amended September 7, 2012