Colo. lawmaker looks to add cantaloupe to state fruit bill
DENVER — At the beginning of April, Colorado lawmakers met at the Capital to vote on a bill that proposed to make the Palisade peach the official state fruit of Colorado.
Committee members voted in favor of HB 14-1304 10 to one, sending the legislation on to the House Appropriations Committee for review.
Sen. Larry Crowder has since moved to add the Rocky Ford cantaloupe to the bill, stating that the two fruits have similar history and stature in Colorado — both local industries date back more than 127 years.
According to the Rocky Ford Growers Association, cantaloupe growers have never considered making this amendment and said they don’t wish to engage in a debate with peach growers over which fruit is more worthy of the “official state fruit” honor.
Rather, RFGA said it believes state symbols should focus on non-commodity items like trees, flowers and birds, so as to remain fair to all state farmers.
In regards to the talks about a “food fight” erupting at the Capital over the bill, RFGA president Michael Hirakata said, “We have a great respect for peaches, as well as Olathe sweet corn, Pueblo chilies and every other regional crop state farmers produce.”
On April 10, the House gave the bill another consideration. Conversations regarding the legislation resumed Wednesday.