Tour marks anniversary of Colorado ag promotion

Kate Greenberg

A statewide tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of a program promoting Colorado agricultural products is scheduled to come to Grand Junction.

The tour stop is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 22 as part of the downtown farmers market along Main Street.

The Colorado Proud booth set up at the market will offer information about the agricultural industry and its contributions to the economy and lifestyle of the state. The first 20 consumers at the event will receive limited-edition bags.

“Colorado Proud is a national leader in championing the diverse agricultural products grown, raised or processed in our state,” said Kate Greenberg, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. “As we celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary, we look forward to supporting both the current and the next generation of ag producers and ag businesses while continuing to educate consumers about how essential Colorado food and agriculture is to our way of life.”

The Colorado Department of Agriculture launched the Colorado Proud program in 1999 to make it easier for consumers to identify and purchase products grown, raised and processed in the state. A program that started with 65 participants now has more than 2,700, including farmers and ranchers as well as food manufacturers, restaurants and retailers.

Wendy White, a marketing specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture who’s been involved in the Colorado Proud program since its inception, said the goal to develop connections between producers and consumers remains unchanged. “We planted seeds for this program in 1999 during a pivotal time in our industry, and we’ll continue to nourish this local interest with more initiatives, education and opportunities.”

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Colorado Proud, a new logo and tagline were developed for the program, White said. “The Next Generation of Ag theme puts an umbrella over every aspect of agriculture that’s growing and changing — literally — and this is impacting our state with fresh ideas that superseded today’s agriculture.”

The agriculture industry contributes more than $40 billion a year to the Colorado economy while accounting for more than 170,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion worth of exports

“Agriculture and local buying will continue to improve Colorado business and lifestyle, making our state even better and playing an important role in our culture,” White said.