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Vilsack in Colorado

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in Colorado last week and met with Gov. Jared Polis, Sen. Michael Bennet, Commissioner Kate Greenberg, and others. Much of the discussion focused on the devastating wildfires Colorado experienced last summer.

The group toured Loveland’s Root Shoot Malting, owned by Todd and Steve Olander of Olander Farms to make local grain and craft malt available to the brewing and distilling industries. A fifth-generation farming operation, Olander Farms has grown barley since the late 1970s, originally for Coors and Budweiser. They now grow LCS Genie and LCS Odyssey barley varieties from Limagrain Cereal Seeds in Fort Collins. The farm also grows grains for malts ranging from Genie Pale to Munich 20, as well as malted rye and white wheat.

“This is a great example of a farm family that understood and appreciated the need for thinking differently, embracing change and not being resistant to it, and taking a risk,” Vilsack told KSIR’s Lorrie Boyer. “As risky as farming is, going into business with a value-added opportunity, creating opportunities for the vast number of breweries that you have here in the state, to have an excellent product that’s homegrown.”



Vilsack applauded the Olanders for looking for ways to remain a farm family and said the USDA is serious about “more, better, and new” markets and pointed to climate as a force driving new income streams for farmers. He also said fair and transparent markets, especially in the cattle industry, are vital to give cattle producers what he calls a fair shake in the market.

The 30×30 plan, Vilsack said, is one that he said must be voluntary and locally led. Providing the resources, options, and alternatives has been a priority and he said the plan has been responsive to the comments and needs communicated by producers.



Gov. Polis said his goal and the goal of Commissioner Greenberg is to help the state’s producers move up the value chain and receive more of the consumer dollar.

 


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