New Ag Commissioner Appointed by Governor

Saguache is part of the major hay-producing San Luis Valley region. It is also second behind potatoes as the Valley’s most harvested crop. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Kate Greenberg was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor Jared Polis in December 2018. As Commissioner, Greenberg will lead the Department’s daily operations, direct its 300 employees, and oversee the agency’s eight divisions: Animal Health, Brand Inspection, Colorado State Fair, Conservation Services, Inspection and Consumer Services, Laboratory Services, Markets, and Plant Industry. 

“For the last ten years, I have sat around dozens of kitchen tables, worked with hundreds of farmers and ranchers, and have been a fierce advocate for family agriculture and its essential role in what we value most about Colorado,” said Greenberg. “I have worked the land, and worked on behalf of those that work the land. I have no delusion that the challenges family agriculture faces in this state and nation are deeply complex, or that the responsibility to deliver smart, innovative, and bold ways forward for Colorado agriculture is urgent.” 

Kate Greenberg

Most recently, Greenberg was the Western Program Director for National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) where she was involved in water issues. This includes working closely with Colorado’s Basin Roundtables and being involved with state’s Water Plan and Colorado River Basin water policy.  Over the last six years, she has worked with producers across Colorado to reshape policies and programs at the state and federal level that will enable more family producers to make a living for themselves and their families on the land.

This has included working on issues of farmland affordability, agriculture education, access to capital and credit, and Food Safety Modernization Act compliance. In February 2011, Greenberg joined the Sonoran Institute, which connects people and communities with their natural resources. As the Restoration Field assistant, she managed a native tree greenhouse and seed-saving program as part of an international project. 

Her career has also included managing natural resources field programs at Whitman College and working full-time on a direct market farm in Western Washington. This work, in addition to her time working on farms in Eastern Washington, Northern California, and the Southwest, established her commitment to bridging the gap between urban consumers, conservation, and the agricultural community, which she feels is essential to ensuring a future with agriculture in Colorado. Greenberg also has a lengthy list of awards and community involvement:

  • Quivira Coalition, Board Chair since December 2016 and Board member since 2013
  • Southwest Basin Roundtable, Liaison since January 2015
  • Southwest Farm Fresh Coop, Former Board Member
  • “Conservation Generation: How Young Farmers and Ranchers are Essential to Tackling Water Scarcity in the Arid West,” 2016 NYFC report
  • “Emerging Leader Award” by the Western Resource Advocates, 2016
  • Nominated as “Climate Trailblazer” by office of California Governor Jerry Brown, September 2018

 “As Commissioner, I look forward to meeting with Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and agricultural organizations to further advance an industry that is so vital to our way of life,” continued Greenberg. For more on the Colorado Department of Agriculture, visit our website at www.colorado.gov/ag.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture includes eight divisions: Animal Health, Brand Inspection, Colorado State Fair, Conservation Services, Inspection and Consumer Services, Laboratory Services, Markets, and Plant Industry. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Directory Highlights Farms, Ag Biz

The Colorado Department of Agriculture annually publishes the Colorado Farm Fresh Directory, which promotes Colorado farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) producers, agritourism activities, wineries and farms and ranches that sell direct to the public. The 2019 edition is being organized, and producers are encouraged to submit their information for inclusion. 

“We are celebrating the 35th anniversary of this popular publication this year,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “We hope to make it the biggest and best edition ever.” 

More than 100,000 copies of the publication will be distributed in June to consumers through libraries, extension offices, farmers’ markets, welcome centers, chambers of commerce, home milk delivery services and other businesses. In addition, Farm Fresh will be available as a mobile app for smartphones and online atwww.coloradoagriculture.com

The fee to be included in the directory is $25, and the listing deadline is February 15, 2019. For more information or to request a listing form, contact Loretta Lopez at (303) 869-9175 or visitwww.coloradoagriculture.com.

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