State representative from Steamboat Springs wins Colorado Livestock Association Award | SteamboatToday.com

State representative from Steamboat Springs wins Colorado Livestock Association Award

Liz Forster

State Representative Diane Mitsch Bush from Steamboat Springs won the Colorado Livestock Association Award.

When State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush was called to the stage at the 2015 Protein Summit last week, she assumed she was being recognized for her efforts toward advancing agriculture along with others.

But when Colorado Livestock Association lobbyist Steve Holdren held up the plaque for the Colorado Livestock Association Award and began listing Mitsch Bush's accomplishments, she knew it was a special recognition.

Mitsch Bush, a Democrat from Steamboat Springs who represents Routt and Eagle counties in the Colorado House of Representatives, received the Colorado Livestock Association Award in recognition of her support of rural communities and agricultural issues, specifically the ones pertinent to the counties she serves.

As a member of both the House Agriculture Committee and the Water Resources Review Committee, she is able to advocate for these issues through direct channels of action in a critical way as Holdren pointed out during his speech.

"In legislature there are statesmen and there are politicians," Holdren said. "Rep. Mitsch Bush is a true statesman. She looks to Colorado's future, not just her next election."

Mitsch Bush attributes this characterization to her questions and preparation.

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"One of the things I'm known for I think is that I do my homework and ask the hard questions on the issues I handle," Mitsch Bush said. "Those questions are evidence-based, and I don't just take a simple answers."

One of the crucial advances in government Mitsch Bush helped pass was a bill in support of increasing the rate at which younger people are entering the agriculture sector. It included support for traditional ranching and farming as well as urban agriculture, greenhouse farming and seasonal organic farming.

It also gave a tax deduction to farmland owners to lease their land to beginning farmers since many young farmers are deterred from entering into the agriculture business by high land prices.

In addition to her work on the agriculture and water resources review committees, Mitsch Bush is also the vice chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee and a member of the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee. She is running for re-election as a state representative in 2016.

To reach Liz Forster, call 970-871-4374, email lforster@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @LizMForster

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