U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner joined Colorado Association of Wheat Growers and Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee officers and staff in June to tour wheat farms in Weld, Washington and Logan counties.
He also stopped off at the Central Great Plains Station in Akron for a visit.
Gardner, whose 4th Congressional District accounts for nearly 95% of Colorado's total wheat production, visited Cooksey Farms near Roggen, and Anderson Wheat Farms near Haxtun.
The tour was envisioned as an important recognition of the wheat industry in Colorado.
Wheat producers took part in the tour with Gardner to explain the needs of the industry.
During the farm visits, the program included a talk by CAWG's President Chris Tallman and CWAC President Dan Anderson. Gardner took questions from the audience of mostly producers, and addressed the audience on the challenges facing agriculture in the tight federal budgeting process.
Great Plains Station research leader Merle Vigil briefed the congressman on research performed at the center to advance dryland cropping systems in eastern Colorado and the Great Plains.
"We can't try to balance our federal budget on the back of agriculture," he vowed. "Our country can't be successful if agriculture is not successful."
Gardner is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, a unit he said is important to farmers.
"The (committee) oversees the Environmental Protection Agency," he explained, "and while it is important to protect our environment, we need to use common sense when doing so. Congress is there to hold the EPA's feet to the fire when it oversteps."
Among concerns the industry expressed to Gardner were potential cuts to the funding of the Farm Bill, crop insurance, pending trade agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama, EPA regulations, transportation and the federal budget.
CWAC officials also probed trade issues and the need for continued congressional funding of wheat research at Colorado State University and the research station.