Forum Provides Information About Opportunities for Alternative Profits in Agriculture

A discussion with state and national experts and leaders, including Gov. Bill Owens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture about alternative sources for agricultural profit will be featured at the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel.

The forum, themed "New Realities, New Opportunities," will provide agriculturalists with opportunities to explore alternative sources for profit, such as ethanol, biodiesel and agritainment opportunities. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by opening remarks by Owens and Ament at 8:15 a.m.

State and national experts will discuss topics such as wind and biodiesel fuel development, agritainment opportunities such as hunting and fishing, and non-traditional profit opportunities around organic farming, direct consumer marketing, value-added commodities and niche markets. In addition, experts will provide context about the future of agriculture in Colorado such as how the industry will be impacted by international competition.

     Additional agenda highlights include an agricultural water summit report; a panel discussion about direct consumer marketing; a panel discussion about agricultural-related entertainment and tourism opportunities; and sessions on organic production and energy production. An update about current legislative issues also will be provided.

     The forum is preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Registration is available at the event at a cost of $115 or to register or for more information, visit the Web at or call 303-239-4100.

     The forum is followed by the 17th Annual Colorado Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet and Recognition program, hosted by the Future Farmers of America. Registration for that event is separate from the forum, and information is available at (970) 249-1465 or

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