Agriculture

Vision
...That Colorado agriculture be strong and vibrant, a key driver of the state's economy, and recognized worldwide for its safe, affordable, and abundant supply of high quality food and agriculture products.
 
Mission
...To strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture; promote a safe and high quality food supply; protect consumers; and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.
Summary
Colorado’s food and agriculture industry ranks among the state’s most important economic drivers, generating more than $40 billion in economic activity annually and supporting more than 170,000 jobs.  The Department, established as a separate state agency in 1933, serves this broad and diverse key industry network, as well as all of Colorado’s citizens, through a wide range of marketing, regulatory, and service related activities delivered through the Commissioner’s Office and its seven operating divisions.  Authority for the Department and its work exists within Colorado Revised Statutes, specifically Titles 12 (Article 16, Parts 1 and 2), Title 18 (Article 9, Part 2), and Title 35.  
 
The Commissioner's Office provides oversight of the Department’s operating divisions, in addition to support functions such as communications, fiscal and legislative policy, human resources, information technology, and public information.  The office also oversees continuity of operations and LEAN process improvement, as well as provides leadership and advocacy for the food and agriculture key industry network on issues including, but not limited to, Federal farm legislation, water policy, animal welfare, and environmental rules and regulations. 
 
The Animal Health Division provides livestock disease prevention and control, animal disease traceability, disease surveillance and laboratory services through the Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory (RMRAHL), predator control services, licensing of aquaculture facilities, and oversees the Bureau of Animal Protection. 
 
The Brands Division inspects and verifies ownership of approximately four million head of livestock annually, investigates theft and abandonment of livestock and assists in prosecutions as necessary.  The Division also records and administers nearly 35,000 Colorado livestock brands, licenses public livestock markets and certified feedlots, inspects and verifies ownership of alternative livestock (i.e., elk and fallow deer), and inspects and licenses over sixty alternative livestock facilities. 
 
The Colorado State Fair highlights and provides a showcase for the Colorado agriculture industry through the annual eleven day event. Colorado youth enrolled in 4-H and FFA programs showcase the best of the best in livestock, equine, horticulture, general project areas like leather crafting and leadership, shooting sports, STEM projects and many more.  In addition to the strong youth education projects, the State Fair provides for competition in a number of general entry categories such as commercial livestock, art, baking, canning, flowers, needlework, and winemaking.  The State Fair accommodates a year-round schedule for a variety of exhibitions and commercial activities with the private sector and local educational institutions.
 
The Conservation Services Division comprises seven programs - Agricultural Chemicals and Groundwater Protection, Agricultural Energy, Biological Pest Control, Chemigation, the Colorado State Conservation Board, Noxious Weed Management, and Weed Free Forage. Together, these programs provide technical and financial support, leadership and coordination, and regulatory oversight to public/private landowners and agricultural businesses statewide on an array on natural resource management challenges. 
 
The Inspection & Consumer Services (ICS) Division provides inspection of animal feed, fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia tanks, eggs, grain warehouses, agricultural commodity handlers and farm products dealers, pet animal care facilities,  custom meat and wild game processors, 
door-to-door food sales companies, weighing and measuring devices, and packages for correct weight and pricing.  ICS also provides metrology and other regulatory-related laboratory services such as feed, fertilizer, groundwater, and pesticide analysis.
 
The Markets Division assists Colorado food and agricultural suppliers to increase product marketing opportunities worldwide, as well as to foster the development of value-added and processing business ventures.  Key initiatives to promoting products locally are the Colorado Proud program, Colorado MarketMaker, Farm Fresh, and a wide array of other directories and listings.  The Markets Division also collects and disseminates livestock market news and provides size and grade inspection services and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) verification audits for fruit and vegetable producers and shippers. Additionally, the Division provides administrative oversight for nine market order programs, helps promote Colorado wines through the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, and administers the state’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for the benefit of Colorado’s fruit, vegetable, and green industry producers.  
 
The Plant Industry Division provides organic certification; nursery stock dealer registration and inspection; produce, plant, and seed export certification; exotic plant pest surveys; hemp registration and inspection; seed dealer registration and inspection; plant quarantine enforcement; bee health certification; chemigation and groundwater program containment inspections; commercial and private pesticide applicator testing, licensing, inspections and investigations; and pesticide registration, marketplace pesticide inspections, and pesticide dealer licensing and inspections.
 

Performance Plans