Letter to the editor: For National Agriculture week, talk to a farmer or rancher

March 21, 2023, marks the 50th year that the U.S. will celebrate the contributions of farmers, ranchers and agriculture with National Agriculture Day.  There is so much to celebrate that it has grown to Agriculture Week, March 19-25. 

Colorado agriculture provides multiple benefits to our state beyond the obvious one, food.  Benefits such as jobs, open space, economic opportunities, wildlife habitat and recreation.  Beginning with small fields of corn and squash that were grown in the canyons around Mesa Verde, Colorado farmers and ranchers have overseen a great expansion in the abundance and diversity of products available, while using less resources like land and water.

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 I love being a member of an average farming and ranching family; taking care of our land, water and animals on a daily basis.  Our family has been here since 1907, and like other families, have adapted to the times, met adversities and improved resources. One benefit we enjoy are the animals we provide habitat, sanctuary and migration corridors for. Among them are 172 varieties of birds including bald eagles, cranes, otter, elk, deer, mountain lions and bears.

As we watch our next generation continuing the family heritage, we have no doubt that our land will be in agriculture well into the future. Want to know more, ask the experts, the farmers and ranchers around you.  After all, you’re lucky enough to live in rural Colorado, the favorite habitat for farmers and ranchers.

Jo Stanko

Regional Assistant Commissioner

Steamboat Springs, Colorado    

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