Attendance Up at Colorado Ag Classic

December 13, 2011 – More than 150 agricultural producers, an increase in attendance from the previous year, participated in the 2011 Colorado Ag Classic held on December 7-8 at The Embassy Suites in Loveland. The seventh annual event was jointly hosted by the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG)/Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC)/Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF), Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA)/Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC), Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee (CSAC), Colorado Sorghum Producers (CSP), Colorado Seed Growers Association (CSGA) and Colorado Seed Industry Association (CSIA).

The Colorado Ag Classic opened the evening of December 7, with a legislative social. Several state legislators and representatives of national legislators were present. A dinner and auction raised funds for CAWG and CCGA state and national legislative efforts.

December 8 started with a unity breakfast hosted by Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar. The boards of the host organizations discussed issues of common interest to all of the participating organizations.

Salazar opened the general session with remarks on the state of agriculture in Colorado. Hubert Hamer, Chair of the Agricultural Statistics Board of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) explained how NASS compiles the 500 or more reports it issues (for example: Crop Production, Crop Condition, Grain Stocks, and Agricultural Prices reports). Keynote speaker Reva Bhalla of STRATFOR Global Intelligence presented “The Geopolitics of Grain,” discussing how the world geopolitical situation relates to farming in Colorado. Bhalla’s presentation was sponsored by CoBank, Mountain Plains Farm Credit, Premier Farm Credit, and Farm Credit of Southern Colorado.

“Reva Bhalla opened our eyes to how different countries interact with each other and how important agricultural trade is for the whole world market. She pointed out how important transportation is to agriculture and trade in general, and that the U.S. has an advantage with its natural river system and its ports on both coasts. Many countries that can grow wheat have difficulty transporting it and this gives U.S. farmers a competitive advantage,” said Randy Traxler, CAWG president, “And Dan Maltby’s presentation on grain marketing was as informative and entertaining as always, and as Dan says, ‘It’s a great time to be a farmer.’”

Breakout sessions on December 8 included presentations on grain marketing, the impending world food crisis and precision agriculture’s role in world food needs, truck regulations and safety inspections, Farm Bill policy development, a question and answer session with Keynote Speaker Reva Bhalla, Farm Bill issues in conservation and ethanol, and a sorghum update. A Workers’ Compensation safety meeting was also held during the day.

Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar emphasizes the importance of agriculture to Colorado’s economy as Master of Ceremonies for the 2011 Colorado Ag Classic.

Reva Bhalla talks about the importance of the global economy to Colorado agriculture.

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