Registration under way for ag forum

Registration is open through Feb. 4 for an upcoming forum that  will focus on the role of innovation in the Colorado agriculture industry.

The 2013 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Denver Renaissance Hotel. Admission is $100, and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. To register or obtain more information, log on to

The Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University host the forum each year to address issued related to an industry that contributes an estimated $40 billion each year to the state economy and employs an estimated 173,000 people.

“Innovation is a key to our future in agriculture as we consider the challenges ahead. And all of us, from producers to policymakers, play a part in advancing innovation,” said John Salazar, state commissioner of agriculture.

Such calls for agricultural innovation come as farmers and ranchers are challenged to double food production by 2050 to feed a world population expected to top 9 billion while also conserving environmental resources.

In addition to Salazar and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, speakers at the forum will include:

Tony Frank, president of Colorado State University.

Ajay Menon, Colorado’s chief innovation officer and dean of the CSU College of Business.

Michael Raynor, director of Deloitte Consulting and author of such  best-selling books as “The Innovator’s Solution” and “The Innovator’s Manifesto.”

Leann Saunders, president of IMI Global, an agricultural verification solutions company and founder of the Where Food Comes From® food labeling program. Saunders also serves as vice chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation and leads the federation’s Traceability Working Group.

“We are pleased to present speakers who will help us understand the urgent need for innovation in agriculture and will provide us with specific examples that are helping our industry. Their experiences and insights will undoubtedly spark great ideas among people attending,” said Craig Beyrouty, dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences.