Bioterroism, Risk Management Focus of Agricultural Outlook Forum

The security of agriculture – from bioterrorism to risk management – will be discussed at this year’s annual Colorado Agricultural Outlook forum, which features information from local and national experts on plant, animal, water and financial security, and international issues.

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.

Experts featured at this year’s forum include:

– A keynote address from John Hoffman, sponsored by Colorado State University’s Rocky Mountain Institute for Biosecurity Research. Hoffman is a retired Army colonel and program manager for the Food and Agriculture Sector in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

– 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, who 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 committees, who 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 is preceded by a reception the evening of Feb. 23. The Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame banquet follows the forum at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 24, and will include the induction of Sidney E. Koon Jr. of Arvada, Al Shivley of Brighton and Tom Sutherland of Fort Collins in to the Hall of Fame. For more information on the 2005 Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet or to purchase tickets, contact Glenn Ledall at 970-454-1427.

Forum registration is $100. Registration is available at the event. To register or for more information about the Agricultural Outlook Forum, 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.