Sen. Bennet stops in Hayden on Friday night |

Sen. Bennet stops in Hayden on Friday night

Senator to host listening session with farmers and ranchers about next version of US Farm Bill

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet

— As he prepares to help shape the next version of the federal Farm Bill, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will be in Hayden on Friday night to meet with ranchers and farmers from Northwest Colorado.

A Bennet spok­­esman said Thursday the senator hopes the audience will come ready to share their ideas and opinions about the legislation.

Before the Farm Bill listening session at The Haven Senior Living Community Room, Bennet, who is the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources, will tour Twentymile Coal Mine.

His stop in Hayden will mark the beginning of a swing through other Northwest Colorado and Western Slope communities that include Meeker and Grand Junction.

"We want to hear from farmers and ranchers on what's working and what we can do better in Washington to support our farming community here in Colorado," Bennet spokesman Michael Amodeo said. "These are very challenging budgetary times, and as we move forward with the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, we want to make sure every dollar is being spent wisely."

The U.S. Farm Bill funds major agricultural programs that range from food stamps to technical assistance for farmers and ranchers, and the latest version of the multiyear legislation was passed by Congress in 2008. It will be up for reauthorization next year when there likely will be fewer federal dollars available.

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Nancy Kramer, Northwest Colorado Products project coordinator for the Community Agriculture Alliance, said Thursday she will attend Bennet's discussion and hopes to hear the senator discuss the possibility of the government providing greater financial assistance to rural communities.

"From my standpoint, I'll be interested in hearing about rural development and about the services like the USDA who can work together to build better infrastructure in the area so we can produce more," Kramer said. "I hope we can feel assured the USDA is sending money to state offices and into the region so we can do the work we need to do."

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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