REPORT FROM CAPITOL HILL
Celebrating Colorado’s Past, Present and Future Agriculture
by State Senator Ellen Roberts
Mar 25, 2011 | 692 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s a welcome retreat from Denver to come home on the weekends. Usually, I’m doing my laundry, maybe a few errands and then getting some quick, but quality time, with my family before heading back to Denver for another week.

While home this past weekend, my husband and I attended the La Plata-Archuleta Cattlemen’s annual dinner in Ignacio. There’s always a crowd and it’s one of the best times during the session that I get to see friends and neighbors at home. This year’s dinner speaker was Colorado State University professor, Temple Grandin, who has overcome her personal challenges of autism and is an expert in animal science. We’re fortunate to have such a fine university as CSU in this state and Dr. Grandin’s one of its great assets.

I attended Cornell University and received my undergraduate degree from its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. My father attended the same school and his degree was in animal husbandry. So far, my son’s the one who’s carrying on the family tradition of working with cattle and, over the weekend, we had the treat of watching a newborn calf take its first stumbling steps while visiting Ben at work.

There’s always the spirited debate about which is the best ag school in the country, (add to the list my father-in-law’s alma mater Texas A&M), but what’s clear is that these universities provide great learning environments for their students as well as incredibly important research that helps feed the world.

We celebrated Ag Day at the Capitol last week and were visited by many Coloradans who make their livelihood in agriculture. Agriculture is a huge part of Colorado’s past, present, and future and it’s important for all legislators to be reminded of the large role played by agriculture in our state’s economy.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Greg Brophy, a farmer from Wray in the northeastern corner of the state, is being debated and would make daylight saving time the year round standard time in Colorado. A completely unscientific poll of those I talked with at the Cattlemen’s dinner didn’t give me a clear consensus from my constituents about the bill, so I look forward to hearing the pros and cons, if the bill makes it to the Senate floor. If you have an opinion on this proposal, let me know.

With March coming to a close, my legislative aide, Charlie Hebeler, heads off to new adventures with the Peace Corps in Botswana, Africa. Charlie, (short for Charlotte), is no novice to the Capitol, having had a long career in public health nursing and then as a lobbyist. She’s been a dear friend and great support through my years in the House and, in January, graciously took on the task of getting me set up in the Senate before heading out to Botswana. My intern Ezra Riggs, raised in the San Luis Valley, will take over as my aide for the rest of the session and I’m still in good hands.
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