DENVER – Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar is retiring at the end of the year to get back to what he knows best.
The San Luis Valley resident and sixth-generation farmer and rancher pointed to several achievements while serving as the state’s chief of agriculture since 2011, including consolidating the department’s divisions.
He also highlighted double-agriculture exports from Colorado producers over 2009 levels.
“I am so looking forward to being close to my family and working on what I consider the most honorable profession – farming and ranching,” Salazar said in a news release. “Thank you to the people of Colorado for giving me the great opportunity to serve you.”
Before serving as commissioner of agriculture, Salazar served three terms representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. Before his time in Congress, Salazar served in the Colorado Legislature for two years.
Gov. John Hickenlooper applauded Salazar for his years of service.
“For the last 12 years, Colorado has benefited from the generous, noble and extraordinary service of John Salazar,” Hickenlooper said. “We are honored and privileged to have had him join our first term. His commitment and dedication to the farmers, ranchers and producers across the state is unparalleled and his successes will continue to benefit the agriculture community and all of Colorado for years to come.”
The governor’s office is in the process of finding a replacement.
He was raised on a San Luis Valley farm, where he and his five siblings shared a bedroom and had no electricity or running water.
He climbed his way out, going on to a long list of successes, including playing a key role in passing the historic federal Farm Bill of 2008.
Salazar never lost his love of farming and ranching. He works on the family farm where the Salazar family has farmed and ranched for generations.
“I want to thank Governor Hickenlooper for entrusting me to lead the Colorado Department of Agriculture where our accomplishments have been many,” he said.