Water saturated the agenda for Colorado farmers, policy leaders, and experts at today’s Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture. The annual conference, now in its 24th year, centered around the theme of “Water: Colorado’s Treasure.”
“When it comes to agriculture, water is the key that opens every lock,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. "All of our challenges, all of our greatest successes, result from how we address water."
Class 11 of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP) completed its eighteen month course of study with graduation on April 26 at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Twenty nine leaders in agriculture and ag-related fields from around the state were awarded completion plaques by CALP Board members and partners of the program.
In opening remarks, Class 8 alumnus, CALP Board Chairman and State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg expressed his pride in the group and their outstanding leadership accomplishments. He explained that the program helps participants to overcome obstacles and to take leadership roles on issues that affect Colorado agriculture at local, national and global levels.
Class 3 alumnus and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar addressed the group stating that "graduation is not an end, but a beginning." He explained that the CALP program was designed to give them the tools and the contacts to become effective leaders so he challenged them to continue their leadership journey beyond their CALP experience.
The class spent 2 days touring the San Luis Valley learning about water and the potato industry. Highlights of the seminar were tours of the San Luis Valley Research Center and Hi-Land Potato Company & Worley Seed owned by CALP Class 11 member Bob Mattive. The class also heard presentations on the Rio Grande River Restoration Project, the Rio Grande Compact and the Rio Grande Basin Plan. "We wanted to showcase the San Luis Valley's potato industry and the water challenges we face in our region," said CALP member Bob Mattive.
Class 11's curriculum included classroom seminars throughout Colorado, plus travel seminars to Louisiana and Washington, D.C. In addition, members gained an international perspective from an intensive eleven day tour of agriculture in China.
The 2014 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture highlights the emerging trends in Colorado agriculture, will be themed “Farm to Table: What do Consumers Really Want?” The event is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2014, at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver.
“Colorado farmers and ranchers provide high-quality, diverse products that help drive the state’s economy, said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “This forum will help connect producers and consumers and encourage an ongoing dialogue about our state’s agricultural strengths and Coloradans’ food preferences.”
Participants in Class 11 of the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Program (CALP) will be in Fort Morgan April 18-20 to learn about agriculture production and business in the area. According to CALP member Michael Fisher, the three day seminar will provide “first hand experience to economic drivers of Northeastern Colorado”.