Polis, Greenberg support SLV potato exports to Mexico

Governor Jared Polis signed water legislation sponsored by Senator Cleave Simpson while visiting the SLV on Monday. Behind him, left to right, Senator Simpson, Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources Dan Gibbs, Representative Donald Valdez and Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. Courier photo by John Waters

State, USDA officials visit valley Monday

ALAMOSA -Monday afternoon in the San Luis Valley, Governor Jared Polis joined Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, and Jim Ehrlich of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee for an announcement about expanding export markets for Colorado’s potato producers. This morning, Gov. Polis signed a new law to give Coloradans a tax rebate of at least $500 for individual filers and $1,000 for joint filers by this summer.

“This agreement, paired with the critical work the Valley is doing to protect and conserve our water, will make a major positive difference for our farmers, meaning more money in the pockets of hardworking Coloradans. A stronger region in the San Luis Valley means a stronger Colorado for all,” said Gov. Polis. “I thank our farmers and ranchers who work so hard in this truly durable trade to make Colorado the thriving agricultural center that we are. Colorado is strategically positioned to lead the nation in potato exports to Mexico providing new revenue for Colorado potato farmers.” 

Last year, Colorado exported more than 122 million pounds of potatoes to Mexico. Colorado exported $1.4 billion of goods to Mexico, including potatoes, making it Colorado’s second  largest export destination. With this new announcement the U.S. has begun exporting potatoes beyond the 26-kilometer border zone that previously marked the limit of their export, Colorado is hopeful that producers will be able to increase exports and revenues.

"The San Luis Valley is home to 150 potato farming families and is the state's primary area for potato production. Expanding markets for our potato producers will help strengthen Colorado's economy and preserve this meaningful trading relationship for future generations of farmers," said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. "Colorado’s first shipment of potatoes into Mexico was successfully made last week. With this new trade agreement, we are optimistic that this expansion will benefit potato producers across the country and Colorado’s producers in particular."

Last May, Gov. Polis applauded a decision by the Mexican Supreme Court that would allow the Mexican government to lift a barrier to imports of U.S. fresh potatoes, including those from Colorado. Gov. Polis participated in the US-Mexico Parliamentary exchange while serving in Congress and co-chaired the bipartisan US-Mexico Friendship Caucus.


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