BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Farmers across Colorado are worried about the escalating trade war that’s already affecting their bottom line. A group of concerned farmers met with Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, at Sakata Farm in Brighton.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 195 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

Agriculture is the second-largest industry in Colorado, generating $40 billion a year.

ag tariffs 5pkg frame 2138 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

Commodity prices are plummeting with corn running $8 a bushel a few years ago to $4 a bushel today. While most may not pay more for produce at the store, the impact on the economy will be felt statewide.

ag tariffs 5pkg frame 212 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

“Your groups here and in Washington are the key, the front line,” said Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 319 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: CBS)

At his urging, the biggest names in Colorado agriculture gathered in one room on Friday. Bennet is worked a trade war on top of low commodity prices and a drought, will take a devastating toll on Colorado’s agriculure industry.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 559 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

“This isn’t a game, this is serious. This is the difference between somebody being able to pass their farm or their ranch off onto their child or not being able to do it,” said Bennet.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 105 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

“We’re below break even already, so that impact is extremely difficult on our commodity producers,” said Colo. Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 1219 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd interviews Colo. Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown.(credit: CBS)

Brown says the value of corn and wheat has dropped 20 percent since the tariffs took effect. Canada and Mexico are the top two importers of Colorado agriculture.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 1549 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

“All of our growth in agriculture in Colorado is going to come from trade,” said Bennet.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 1399 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

“It’s really trickled down and I sense it from every part of the state,” said Terry Fankhauser, the head of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

farmer tour 6pkg frame 2059 This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

He says ranchers are also feeling the impact.

“Coloradans and people in this country eat all they can eat and maybe more than what they should, in many cases. And our food is fairly cost-effective. Our growth is outside of the U.S. border so we’re very concerned,” said Fankhauser. “We have producers, that if we can’t resolve these issues, literally, we’ll go out of business.”

red meat steaks This Is Serious: Sen. Bennet Meets With Farmers Over Trade War

(credit: CBS)

Bennet also discussed the farm bill which is headed for a conference committee after the House and Senate passed different versions. The bill impacts things like crop insurance, especially important in light of this year’s hail storms and drought. It also regulates the food stamp program.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s