Over 25 members of the Colorado Agricultural Council joined Rural Development State Director, Jim Isgar and Farm Services State Executive Director Trudy Kareus for a Presidential Forum on job creation and economic growth at the State Office in Lakewood, CO. “Several job forums have been occurring across the state, put on both by the Governor and members of our Congressional delegation, but we in Colorado felt one needed to be held focusing primarily on the agricultural sector,” said Isgar.
Colorado Agricultural Commissioner John Stulp chaired the roundtable discussion. In addition to the Commissioner, panelists included Taryn Edwards, Executive Director of the Governor’s Job Cabinet, Don Marostica, Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and Steve Johnson, representing Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
Discussion was held on a vast array of topics, but primarily focused on four topics: regulatory environment – whether they are hampering progress; infrastructure – broadband opportunities, transmission lines and environmental concerns, renewable energy, and clean and waste water; community infrastructure – the importance of having access to health care in rural areas – a strength for a community is having a critical access hospital, providing post K12 education opportunities in rural communities; and credit opportunities for both AG and rural businesses.
Attendees were very thankful for the opportunity to have their issues and concerns forwarded to Secretary Vilsack. USDA hoped that this event would not be the end of discussion but rather a launching point for further involvement and strategic planning between all parties.
Submitted by Amy Mund, Colorado USDA Rural Development Public Information Officer
To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth”