Leaving it better than it was

Agriculture and the energy industry have close ties. In Colorado, the relationship is only getting closer as farmers and ranchers partner with energy companies to explore for oil and natural gas.

Farmers lease their land to energy companies to produce oil and natural gas and according to Don Thorn of the Colorado FFA Association farmers can expect to find their land in better condition once drilling is done than when drilling started. This is because energy companies conform to strict environmental standards and good neighbor policies that require mitigation of the impacts of drilling.

“It seams agriculture is continuing to grow and run parallel alongside the oil industry” says Thorn. In Colorado, the two industries are growing so much that Weld county, where much of the state’s drilling is taking place, is the nation’s eighth-largest agricultural producing county and sits atop one of the largest oil and natural gas fields.

Agriculture is energy intensive, Thorn says, and new oil production helps to keep the cost of gasoline and diesel down in addition to providing new income streams from leasing land to energy companies.

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