Grand County’s Meat In Day celebrates local agriculture
Two llamas wandered the parking lot at Debbie’s Drive In, wearing signs that asked drivers to eat meat — but not llama.
At Debbie’s Drive In, a line of cars reached out of the parking lot as local band Martin & Taylor played country favorites and live animals added to the ranching atmosphere.
What started as a demonstration against a gubernatorial proclamation has turned into a celebration of local agriculture with businesses across the county offering events and deals for Meat In Day on Saturday.
In addition to the sign-wielding llamas at Debbie’s, two goats and a lamb hung out in a pen munching on hay as humans munched on free burgers. The goats belonged to young Ellie Sanders, who introduced one goat as Choo-Choo and said the event was a fun way to celebrate Meat In Day.
At the front of the lot, four mules brought honks from passersby on US Highway 40. Juli Sanders explained that the mule she was handling, Millie, had helped move cows for Fitch Ranch, which supplies meat for Debbie’s Drive In and a number of other businesses in the county.
“We’re out here to support all agriculture,” Sanders said. “It’s going really well.”
Her daughter, Joslynn Sanders, explained why celebrating their industry was so important as she sat upon her horse.
“Because it is what we do,” Joslynn said. “We sell meat pretty much as a living.”
Sponsored by the Middle Park Stockgrowers, Middle Park Cowbelles, Farm Bureau and Colorado Cattleman’s Association, a large list of businesses and ranches held their own events to celebrate the day, including the grand opening of the Middle Park Meat’s Meat Wagon in Kremmling.
Saturday’s events came in response to Gov. Jared Polis’ proclamation naming March 20 as MeatOut Day. Grand County was one of the first of 26 counties in Colorado that declared Saturday as Meat In Day.
There are 290 farms operating in Grand, according to the US Department of Agriculture, with animal sales totaling over $11 million for the county in 2017.
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Both the Grand County/Granby airport and the Kremmling airport are upgrading facilities this summer.