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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandApril 20, 20186min417

If the "blue wave" that some predict is coming crashes ashore in Colorado, Democrats want to make sure their candidates don't miss out on a single legislative race. The state Democratic Party announced Friday it has placed candidates in every state House and Senate race. The party hasn't fielded candidates in every race in at least the last four elections and likely going back plenty of years before that.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 1, 20182min381

Martha Smith Farm Bureau
Colorado Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, congratulates Martha Smith at the Capitol Wednesday for winning the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher National Discussion Meet. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado Farm Bureau)

Colorado lawmakers congratulated Martha Smith at the Capitol Wednesday for winning the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher National Discussion Meet.

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, delivered a speech to congratulate Smith and deliver a joint tribute from the House and Senate.

“Members, we have a hero here in front of us today,” he began.

He explained the winners from each state and have a boardroom discussion on how to help first-generation farmers. Participants are judged on their strength in making their points courteously.

“And, no, I have never won this contest,” Sonnenberg joked.

Smith is Colorado’s first national winner, winning the title over competitors from almost every state, and the Farm Bureau’s national meeting in Nashville this month. Her prize was a new Ford pickup truck.

“Martha was an outstanding representative for Colorado and for young farmers and ranchers across the country,” Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau, said in a statement. “It is talented people like her who will lead the agriculture industry into the next generation and help us continue to feed people around the world.”

Smith lives in Denver and is an area manager for Channel Seed. She is a native of Virginia and graduated from Iowa State.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 15, 201815min493
Mark Hillman may be the kind of guy Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he extolled the virtues of America’s “yeoman farmer.” Born in Burlington on the eastern plains, raised on his family’s farm, Hillman early on became a sort of rural Renaissance Man. A plowman-politician who by his 20s had also worked as a […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 11, 20182min475

The Colorado Senate’s majority Republicans are pitching upgrades to the information superhighway — as well as to plain-old paved highways — as a boon to rural Colorado.

A press announcement touting the legislation said both proposals — the first two Senate bills introduced on opening day Wednesday — demonstrated a “commitment to assisting parts of rural Colorado that often feel left behind by the boom times enjoyed by the urbanized Front Range.”

The announcement said Senate Bill 1, “is a tax hike-free roadway modernization package that also could have broad economic benefits, if approved by voters next fall.”

Senate Bill 2’s provisions boosting rural broadband — a complicated measure Colorado Politics’s Marianne Goodland covers in greater depth — is intended to help bridge the digital divide.

SB 2 author Don Coram, a Montrose Republican, had this to say about both measures’ impact on farm-and-ranch-and-wide-open-spaces districts like his:

“In tandem, our first two bills of the session are meant to provide a double shot of economic assistance to rural parts of the state that often lag behind economically … It’s our way of helping to bridge the urban-rural divide so that every part of the state prospers.”