Hearing Set for Efforts to Create Market Order for Millet

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Published Friday, June 8, 2018
by Christi Lightcap

Colorado is the number one producer of millet in the U.S., and growers are interested in enhancing research and marketing opportunities. At the request of millet producers, Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, will hold a hearing for public input on a proposed market order for millet on June 22.

"Millet is widely planted as a rotational crop by Colorado farmers," said Commissioner Don Brown, "It is drought-tolerant, grows well in Colorado, and brings $23 million in economic impact to our state. If Colorado producers wish to move forward with a referendum on a millet market order, we will support that endeavor."

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PICT - Ag Commissioner Don Brown
Don Brown, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. Courtesy CDA

Millet is a small-seeded plant belonging to the grass family. It can be used for animal feed or human consumption and is high in protein and gluten-free. It can grow in relatively hot and low-rainfall conditions, so it does very well on the eastern plains of Colorado.

Market orders, sometimes known as check-off programs, give producers of an agricultural commodity the ability to assess themselves to fund education, marketing and research. Colorado currently has eight market order programs covering wheat, corn, sunflower, potatoes (Greeley area), potatoes (San Luis Valley), milk, dry beans and sweet corn. These programs are administered by the Commissioner of Agriculture.

A public hearing regarding a proposed millet marketing order in Colorado will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018, in the conference room of USDA-ARS Central Great Plains Research Station located at 40335 Co Rd GG, Akron, CO 80720. The Commissioner will accept verbal and/or written testimony at that time.

Any interested party may also submit written testimony.  Such testimony may be mailed to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. To be considered part of the record, such testimony must be postmarked no later than Friday, June 22, 2018, or, if sent by e-mail, received no later than 11:59 p.m., Friday, June 22, 2018. Following the hearing, and receipt of any written testimony, the Commissioner will decide if it is appropriate to go forward with a referendum of all millet producers to see if they are in favor of a market order.

Testimony can be mailed to Colorado Department of Agriculture, 305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021, Attention: Glenda Mostek, call (303) 869-9000 or 

e-mail glenda.mostek@state.co.us.