Agricultural Outlook Forum Provides Insight, Direction for Future of Food

The 2000 Colorado Agricultural Outlook Forum will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Denver. The forum is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Associates.

The event will feature group sessions, discussion and insight from industry leaders. The topic of this year’s forum is International Trade, Genetically Modified Organisms and Environmental Markets.

Included in the list of prestigious speakers are Don Ament, Colorado commissioner of agriculture; Alan Barkema, vice president and economist with the Center for the Study of Rural America at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Ralph Grossi, president of American Farmland Trust; Michael Phillips, executive director for the Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington, D. C.; Tassos Haniotois, the agriculture counsellor in the European Commission’s delegation in Washington D.C., and Craig Thorn a senior policy adviser for international business in Washington, D.C.

Small discussion groups featuring forum topics in more detail will be held in the morning. These breakout sessions will include comments by additional industry leaders. The sessions will focus on producer-owned consolidation and diversification examples; farmland preservation programs; agricultural markets for carbon storage, wildlife and resource conservation; identity preservation issues and opportunities for genetically modified and non-genetically modified commodities; Consumer attitudes and communication about biotech foods; and a student session about agriculture-related career opportunities.

For more information or to register for the forum, call 1-800-886-7683 or visit the forum Web site at Registration is $80 before Feb. 1, and $90 after. Student discounts and scholarships are available.

The forum will be followed by the Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet, which will recognize three individuals for their lifetime contributions to agriculture. Ernest Robb Bliss, Greeley; Roger Bill Mitchell, Monte Vista; and R.N. "Nate" Patton, Canon City, will be honored at 6:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. For more information about the banquet or to register for the banquet, call the Colorado FFA Foundation at 970-353-9620.