Ag forum to focus on next generation of producers

An upcoming forum in Colorado will focus on the next generation of agricultural producers and the range of challenges they face.

The Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is set for Feb. 18 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel. The event is open to the public. To register or obtain more information, visit the Web site at

“Colorado’s $40 billion ag industry is a top two or three contributor to our state’s economy each year, employs thousands of Colorado residents, has been instrumental in leading us out of the recession and, most importantly, helps feed Colorado’s 5 million people. Any conversations focused on supporting this industry and maximizing opportunities for the next generation of producers are absolutely worth having,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Hosted by the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program, the forum will focus on next generation agriculture, including not only new technology and social media, but also changes in rural communities, labor availability and women working in the industry. The event also will include presentations on succession planning, multi-generational work forces and the marijuana industry in Colorado.

Nearly 25 presenters and panelists are expected to participate in the forum, including David Brown, co-director of the community and regional development institute at Cornell University; Ken Nugent, president and chief executive officer of Global Development Analytics; and Jason Resnick, vice president and general counsel with the Western Growers Association. Other  industry experts, faculty from Colorado State University and farmers and ranchers also will join in the event.

Along with the forum, the Colorado FFA Foundation will host the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame reception and banquet. New inductees into the hall of fame will be recognized along with the winner of the Rising Star award. The benefit is set to begin at 4:15 p.m. Feb. 18 immediately after the forum.

The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers has scheduled its annual meeting for Feb. 17 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel.