Kate Greenberg was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor Jared Polis in December 2018. As Commissioner, Greenberg leads the Department’s daily operations, directs its 300 employees, and oversees the agency’s eight divisions: Animal Health, Brand Inspection, Colorado State Fair, Conservation Services, Inspection and Consumer Services, Laboratory Services, Markets, and Plant Industry.
“For the last ten years, I have dedicated my work to those who work the land. Throughout that time, I have sat around dozens of kitchen tables, worked with hundreds of farmers and ranchers, and have been a fierce advocate for family agriculture and its essential role in what we value most about Colorado,” said Greenberg. “I have worked the land, and worked on behalf of those that work the land. I have no delusion that the challenges family agriculture faces in this state and nation are deeply complex, or that the responsibility to deliver smart, innovative, and bold ways forward for Colorado agriculture is urgent.”
Most recently, Greenberg was the Western Program Director for National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) where she was involved in water issues. This includes working closely with Colorado’s Basin Roundtables and being involved with the state’s Water Plan and Colorado River Basin water policy. Over the last six years, she has worked with producers across Colorado to reshape policies and programs at the state and federal level that will enable more family producers to make a living for themselves and their families on the land. This has included working on issues of farmland affordability, agriculture education, access to capital and credit, and Food Safety Modernization Act compliance.
In February 2011, Greenberg joined the Sonoran Institute, which connects people and communities with their natural resources. As the Restoration Field assistant, she managed a native tree greenhouse and seed-saving program as part of an international project. Her career has also included managing natural resources field programs at Whitman College and working full-time on a direct market farm in Western Washington. This work, in addition to her time working on farms in Eastern Washington, Northern California, and the Southwest, established her commitment to bridging the gap between urban consumers, conservation, and the agricultural community, which she feels is essential to ensuring a future with agriculture in Colorado.
Greenberg also has a lengthy list of awards and community involvement:
- Quivira Coalition, Board Chair since December 2016 and Board member since 2013
- Southwest Basin Roundtable, Liaison since January 2015
- Southwest Farm Fresh Coop, Former Board Member
- “Conservation Generation: How Young Farmers and Ranchers are Essential to Tackling Water Scarcity in the Arid West,” 2016 NYFC report
- “Emerging Leader Award” by the Western Resource Advocates, 2016
- Nominated as “Climate Trailblazer” by the office of California Governor Jerry Brown, September 2018
“As Commissioner, I look forward to meeting with Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and agricultural organizations to further advance an industry that is so vital to our way of life,” continued Greenberg.