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Colorado Proud Month Highlights Farm Families

Colorado Department of Agriculture program promotes food and agricultural products grown, raised or processed in state


Colorado Proud, created by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in 1999, promotes food and agricultural products grown, raised or processed in Colorado. Gov. John Hickenlooper declared August Colorado Proud Month, and on Aug. 2, the organization kicked off “Faces and Stories of Colorado’s Agriculture” with a panel of farmers and ranchers discussing their industry at Denver’s Union Station. The month-long program continued with a mix of in-person, video and online conversations; a statewide tour through agricultural communities; and more industry panels in Grand Junction and Colorado Springs, as well as farmers’ markets throughout August.

“We are experiencing a swing in the local food movement, from a general focus on food to a zoomed lens on the farmers who grow and produce our food,” said Wendy White, Colorado Proud spokesperson “Their perspective is personal, authentic, direct and expressive — stimulating ongoing conversation about the impact that local growing and buying have on our state.  Their faces also show the diversity in agriculture, from age, gender and race to diversity of products.” 

Colorado agriculture consistently ranks as one of the state’s three leading industries, providing more than 173,000 jobs and contributing more than $40 billion annually to the state’s economy.


• Colorado has more than 34,000 farms and ranches, 864 of which report tourism income. Those providing agritourism reported around $33,000 additional income.

•  14 percent of the nation’s 2.1 million farms are run by a woman, and women make up 30 percent of all farmers when up to three operators per farm are included. (USDA 2012 Ag Census).

• Colorado has 522 “Centennial Farms and Ranches,” denoting operations that have remained in the same family continuously for 100 years or more, and either comprise at least 160 acres or produce a minimum of $1,000 in yearly sales.

• 97 percent of farms in the U.S. are owned by families.

• Nearly categories of minority-operated farms increased between 2007 and 2012, especially Hispanic-operated, which increased by 21 percent.

• The national average age of farmers is 58.3 years, while Colorado’s average is slightly higher at 58.9 years.

• Almost 90 percent of Colorado consumers surveyed said they would buy Colorado-grown food if labeled as such, according to a 2016 survey by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

• Colorado’s top agricultural product is cattle, representing more than half of all cash receipts.

• Colorado ranks first nationally in the production of millet and second nationally for market sheep and lamb.

Source: Colorado Proud

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Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz magazine. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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