Time is running out to register for the annual Colorado Agricultural Outlook Forum, which this year takes a look at Colorado’s relationship with Mexico. The forum, "Colorado-Mexico Connection: Agricultural Trade, Labor and More," is Feb. 19 at the Denver Adam’s Mark Hotel.
The forum, sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Council, closely examines Colorado’s connection to Mexico through trade agreements and migrant labor and how that connection impacts the state’s agricultural industry, social structure and economy.
"Mexico impacts Colorado’s economy through international trade and the country’s migrant work force," said Don Ament, Colorado commissioner of agriculture. "This forum provides an excellent opportunity for the public and professionals to learn about these important connections with Mexico."
"The forum also will bring together educational, business and political leaders from both sides of the border to address key issues concerning the present and future development of this crucial field," added Leticia Calzada, consul general of Mexico in Denver and a scheduled forum speaker.
Other state, national and international experts are featured at this year’s forum. In addition to Ament, commissioner of agriculture and a farmer and rancher who will be overseeing the forum, other experts include:
- Calzada, who has devoted 20 years of public service to Mexico focusing on promoting sustainable development of the nation through political reform, education, information management and environmental protection.
- Jorge Bustamante, sociologist and endowed chair at Norte Dame, who is a leading expert in international migration and who served on the Mexico committee for Binational Study for Migration in 1997.
- Philip Martin, professor of agriculture and resource economics at the University of California-Davis, who is editor of Rural Migration News and who served on the U.S. committee for the Binational Study for Migration in 1997.
- Frank Lee, a deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for international marketing and agricultural intelligence analysis for foreign markets. He has served as agricultural attaché or counselor for agricultural affairs in Venezuela, Costa Rica, Egypt, Spain and Mexico.
- Enrique Lobo, Agricultural Minister at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., who worked for Pulsar International-Salvia-Bionova Holding Corp. in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, as the director of sourcing and procurement in 15 Mexican states. He worked for 15 years for H.E. Butt Grocery Company, also in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.
Smaller workshop sessions scheduled for the event are "Colorado’s Agricultural Marketing Successes and Issues with NAFTA;" "U.S. and Mexico’s Small Scale Agriculture: Coping with Globalization;" "Hispanic Labor Force in Colorado’s Agriculture and Economy;" "Colorado’s Power Supply: Are We Susceptible to California’s Problems?;" "2002 Farm Bill Update;" and a legislative update.
The forum is preceded by a reception the evening of Feb. 18. Forum registration is $90 per person before Feb. 8 and $100 thereafter. To register or for more information, call 800-886-7683 or visit www.coloradoagforum.com. A special rate of $115 for a single or double room is available at the Adam’s Mark Hotel by calling 800-444-2326 and mentioning the Colorado Agricultural Outlook Forum.