Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today heard from local producers on the effects of the drought in San Luis Valley as part of a tour of Bagwell Ranch.
"Farmers and ranchers all across Colorado are struggling through one of the worst droughts in decades," Bennet said. "The 2012 Farm Bill we passed in the Senate contains a number of provisions that will help producers weather this difficult growing season. The House of Representatives needs to take up and pass the Farm Bill as soon as it resumes session in September so farmers and ranchers have access to assistance and the certainty they need to plan for the future."
In the face of the state's worst drought in 50 years, Bennet and Senator Mark Udall wrote a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last month asking for federal assistance for Colorado farmers and ranchers, who are facing severe drought conditions that are threatening crops, livestock and rural livelihoods. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared all of Colorado's counties as disaster areas due to losses caused by drought, excessive heat, and high winds.
Last month, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor to urge the House to take up and pass a full five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. He also sent a letter to House leadership, along with Senator Mark Udall, urging passage the bill, which includes vital resources to assist farmers and ranchers suffering from the drought.