Â??advancing Colorado’s Rural Development’ Topic of Annual Agricultural Forum

Note to Editors: Members of the media are invited to attend this informative forum at no charge. To do so, fill out the registration form and mark the “Media” box at the bottom. For questions concerning media’s attendance or interview opportunities, contact Christi Lightcap, Colorado Department of Agriculture, at (303) 239-4190.

Economics, water issues, transportation, technology and other factors that affect the development of Colorado’s agricultural regions will be discussed at the 17th annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture.

The forum, "Advancing Colorado’s Rural Development," will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Double Tree Hotel, 3203 Quebec St. in Denver. Gov. Bill Ritter will speak to the group at 8:30 a.m.

State and national experts will present information about aspects of rural development such as water legislation, broadband Internet access, rural transportation infrastructure, agritourism and more. A panel discussion on rural development also is scheduled.

Speakers include USDA Undersecretary Tom Dorr speaking on the perspective of rural development; Renny Fagan, state director for U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, presenting the senator’s perspective; and Mark R. Drabenstott, director of the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs, presenting an economist’s perspective.

Afternoon breakout sessions will cover rural infrastructure, water and rural development, carbon and nitrogen credit marketing opportunities, and amenity-driven growth.

A welcome reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the governor’s residence at the Boettcher Mansion. The day will be capped with the Colorado Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet beginning at 5:30 p.m. A reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. will precede the banquet.

Registration is $100 per person and $45 for students until Feb. 8; registration after that date increases to $120 and $50 respectively. Registration information and forms are on the Web at www.colorado.gov/ag; click on "Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture."