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Sen. Salazar in Brighton, Colo. for listening session Aug. 21

DENVER-U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) will co-host a farm bill listening session on producer challenges and visions for the next farm bill. The listening session will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Adams County Fairgrounds, new Annex Building, Aug 21, in Brighton, Colo.

Sen. Salazar, member of U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee, RMFU President John Stencel, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Tom Buis and producer members of the RMFU Farm Bill Task Force, will listen to the concerns, thoughts and ideas of producers from around the state. Access to healthy food, nutrition education, conservation, energy, credit, trade, rural development, commodity programs, disaster assistance and more will all be topics of discussion.

“This is an excellent opportunity for producers and consumers to let opinion leaders know what they would like to see in the next farm bill,” Stencel said. “It is also an opportunity for leaders to hear some of the immediate concerns of farmers and ranchers within our region.” Sen. Salazar will listen to current producer needs and suggestions for advancement during the development of the next farm bill. Members of RMFU will take the concerns and needs addressed during the listening session to legislators in Washington, D.C. in September during NFU’s legislative fly-in. Information gathered also will be considered by the RMFU Farm Bill Task Force as it puts together its recommendations for Congress.

The current farm bill, which was enacted in 2002, expires at the end of 2007. Producer groups and lawmakers are voicing concerns about inadequacies within the current farm bill and the need for changes and improvements in the next version.

The listening sessions are open to anyone interested in discussing food and farm policy. Anyone wishing to submit testimony should contact RMFU at 303-752-5800.