Bioterroism, Risk Management Focus of Agricultural Outlook Forum

Natural and man-made threats to agriculture are the topic of this year’s annual Colorado Agricultural Outlook forum. Plant, animal, water and financial security and international issues will be discussed by national and local experts.

The forum, "Safeguarding our Future," is from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec St.

State and national experts featured at this year’s forum include a keynote address sponsored by Colorado State University’s Rocky Mountain Institute for Biosecurity Research. The keynote address will be given by John Hoffman, retired Army colonel, who is program manager for the Food and Agriculture Sector in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Hoffman is a proponent for including biosecurity measures in farm and ranch business plans and daily operations to combat the impact of terrorism and natural disasters on the food supply.

Other speakers include Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics in Los Angeles, Calif., who will talk about the financial and economic outlook for the United States and Colorado.

Marc Johnson, vice provost for agriculture and outreach at Colorado State, will talk on "Agro Security: Research and Outreach Challenges."

Sen. Jim Isgar, Senate chair, and Rep. Kathleen Curry, chair of the House of Representatives Agricultural committee, will provide remarks during lunch. Gov. Bill Owens has been invited to address the group.

Kristin Corash from the Governor’s Office has been invited to moderate a discussion with the presenters about current biosecurity measures and future risks. Audience feedback will be included in the discussion.

The forum will be preceded by a reception the evening of Feb. 23. Forum registration is $100. Registration is available at the event, or to register or for more information, visit the Web at or call 303-239-4100.

The annual forum is sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Associates.