Last updated 8:29PM ET
December 12, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Senator Salazar Visits Cortez
(2008-07-03)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: US Senator Ken Salazar stopped in Cortez today/Thursday to discuss with the Farm bill. But when asked, audience members had a different agenda in mind.

KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner reports.


SARAH: The US Senate passed the 2008 Farm Bill last month. Senator Salazar came to Cortez to discuss issues of the bill with local residents and how it will effect southwest Colorado and the Four Corners region.
The $285 billion bill is intended to deliver safe and healthy food to children at school and families at home as well as improving the stewardship of America's land and water.
As part of this bill, Senator Salazar says that within the next few months consumers will be able to see exactly where their food is coming from.
KEN SALAZAR: WHEN I WENT AROUND A FEW YEARS AGO AND TALKED TO PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT'S IMPORTANT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I HEARD FROM OUR RANCHERS WERE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING. WE SHOULD KNOW AS AMERICANS WHERE OUR FOOD IS COMING FROM. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY YOU WILL NOW KNOW WHEN THIS BILL IS IMPLEMENTED WHERE YOU'RE FOOD IS COMING FROM. WHEATHER IT'S COMING FROM JAPAN OR CHILE, MEXICO, CANADA, WHEREVER USA. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING IS NOW PART OF THE LAW.
Other parts of the farm bill that were addressed are food security, energy, conservation efforts and rural development.
But when standing room only audience members had the opportunity to ask questions, majority of them wanted information on issues aside from the farm bill.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS:
I had the chance to sit down and speak with Jodi Foran. Foran is the president of the league of Women Voters in Montezuma County.
Foran says she wished the Senator would have discussed other issues in further detail.
JODI FORAN: I WAS HOPING IT ADDRESSED MORE GENERALLY RENEWABLE ENERGY. AND I WAS DISAPPOINTED AT THAT. WHAT I DID HEAR THAT I'M GRATEFUL FOR IS THE SUPPORT OF LOCAL AGRICULTURE GOING INTO THE SCHOOLS. AND OUR KIDS EATING BETTER IN THE SCHOOLS.
Foran says salazar's focus being primarily on the farm bill, was like preaching to the choir, especially in Cortez.
FORAN: I APPRECIATE SENATOR SALAZAR'S COMING, BUT TO JUST FOCUS ON THE FARM BILL IS PRETTY NARROW. WE DO HAVE AN ACTIVE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY HERE. AND CERTAINLY HE WANTS TO CONNECT WITH THEM. BUT THEY'RE ALSO REAL ISSUES AND WE TALKED ABOUT THEM A LITTLE BUT CERTAINLY HEALTHCARE DIDN'T GET THE DISCUSSION THAT IT MERITS.
Audience members thanked Senator Salazar for his work in the Farm Bill and appreciated his visit in Cortez.
His next stop will be in Grand Junction and then on to Craig.
For the holiday weekend, Senator Salazar closed his presentation with some patriotic remarks.
SALAZAR: IT'S A GOOD BILL. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY IT'S ABOUT CELEBRATING THE INDEPENDENCE OF AMERICA AND THE FACT THAT FOOD SECURITY IS VERY MUCH A PART OF THAT INDEPENDENCE.

From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.
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