Date appointed: 1/5/11
Senate Committee hearing date: 1/26/11
Senate Committee hearing vote: Passed Committee vote - Unanimously favorable recommendation
Senate vote date: February 4, 2011
Senate vote: Confirmed - 34-0-1
“A thriving agriculture sector is critical to Colorado’s economic recovery,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “Farmers and ranchers are also leading the way as business innovators. Their prosperity helps build a foundation for all of Colorado. And no one has been a more passionate champion for agriculture and rural communities than John Salazar. We are fortunate to have his leadership at the helm of the Department of Agriculture.”
As Commissioner, John has focused on a number of issues that are vital to the success of Colorado agriculture:
Association participation and membership includes NASDA Immigration Task Force, 2012 WUSATA president, and 2011 WASDA president.
Salazar served three terms representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Salazar’s advocacy in Congress earned him recognition for outstanding service by the American Farm Bureau and the Golden Triangle Award from the National Farmers Union.
He played a key role in passing the historic farm bill of 2008 and authored the rural broadband and specialty crop provisions. With a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee in his third term, Salazar worked on national energy issues, jobs creation and the economy.Before his time in Congress, Salazar served in the Colorado General Assembly for two years.
Salazar served on the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program board, and the Colorado Agricultural Commission before being elected as a state Representative in 2002. He has also been a member of the Farm Credit Services Board of Directors, the Seed Export Committee with the Colorado Certified Seed Growers, and was the founder of the Saint Joseph Youth Athletic Program.
The Salazar family celebrates 14 generations of farming; John Salazar was raised on a San Luis Valley farm, where he and his five siblings shared a bedroom and had no electricity or running water. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Adams State College after serving three years in the U.S. Army.
Salazar continues to call the San Luis Valley home. He works on the family farm where they have farmed and ranched the same for seven generations.
About the Department of Agriculture:
The Department serves the people of Colorado through the following Divisions: Animal Industry Division, Brands Division, Colorado State Fair, Commissioner’s Office, Conservation Services Division, Inspection & Consumer Services Division, Markets Division, and Plant Industry Division.