Here in Colorado, farming and agriculture thrive alongside fracking 365 days a year. From farm-to-table businesses to sustainable ranching across our state, landowners rely on the pastures that livestock graze on and the soil they grow crops in. And thanks to fracking, our farmers and ranchers not only benefit from the lower energy costs that help power their equipment, but also from oil and natural gas mineral rights that help support their businesses and families.
Agriculture employs hundreds of thousands of Coloradans and contributes more than $40 billion to our economy each year. But our ranches and farmland support more than crops and livestock—they are often rich in minerals and natural resources. Colorado is home to over 600,000 mineral owners, and many farmers rely on the additional income they receive from oil and natural gas development to sustain their farms and families.
Michelle Smith, a farmer from Elbert, Colorado, says she relies on income from oil and natural gas development to help sustain her family farming operations. “Mineral rights make all the difference to our small organic based farm,” she says. “Like many Colorado farm-to-table businesses, if we can’t offset operating costs with our minerals, then we’re out of business.”
Safe and responsible energy development is a critical part of Colorado’s agriculture economy. In addition to supporting Colorado’s mineral owners, fracking lowers energy costs for farmers and ranchers. And, supported by advancements in scientific research and strong regulations, Colorado is setting the bar for energy production—and that’s great news for our farmers and ranchers who depend on the additional income from oil and natural gas for their livelihood.
As we approach the start of harvest season in communities across Colorado, let us remember how fracking supports the ranches and farms that all of us rely on for fresh, local food.