Note to Reporters: Media interested in attending may register at: www.colorado.gov/ag/forum. Click on the registration button, and then register as media.
Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has served for four years as steward of the nation’s public lands, will headline the 2013 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, a daylong conference focusing on the critical role of innovation to the future of U.S. agriculture.
The forum, called “Cultivating Innovation: Creating Ideas for our Future,” will run 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Denver Renaissance Hotel and will include a number of timely talks and breakout sessions. Media representatives interested in attending may register at: www.colorado.gov/ag/forum. Click on the registration button, and then register as media.
For more information about the forum, visit: http://www.colorado.gov/ag.
The annual event is co-hosted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University.
Salazar will be part of a notable lineup of speakers during the forum’s morning session. Others on the agenda:
• Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper;
• Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar;
• Colorado State University President Tony Frank;
• Michael Raynor, director of Deloitte Consulting, addressing “The Innovator’s Manifesto: Deliberate Disruption for Breakthrough Growth”;
• Leann Saunders, president of IMI Global, Inc., an agricultural verification solutions company, discussing “Where Food Comes From – Connecting Producers and Consumers”; and
• Michael Scuse, U.S. Department of Agriculture under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services.
Innovation in agriculture has become a top concern as farmers and ranchers are challenged to double food production by 2050 in order to feed a world population expected to top 9 billion people. At the same time, agriculture must conserve environmental resources and improve food safety, among other challenges.
Among these challenges is a need to dramatically increase food production with less land and water; water issues will be specifically addressed by two speakers at the forum:
• Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., will present two sessions on the history of Colorado water law; and
• James Pritchett, an agricultural economist at CSU, will discuss a survey of Colorado farmers and ranchers meant to better understand the impacts of the 2012 drought.
Other breakout sessions during the forum will address:
• Innovating for customer growth, from the perspective of a business director with Leprino Foods
• An update on the Farm Bill
• The Food Safety Modernization Act – proposed rules on produce safety and on preventive controls for human food
• Innovation and advancement in agricultural trade
• Resources for Colorado producers interested in farm-to-school food issues
The forum will be followed by the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Celebration, hosted by the Colorado FFA Foundation.
Each year, the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture addresses an important theme of the day, focused through the lens of Colorado agriculture, which contributes an estimated $40 billion each year to the state economy and employs an estimated 173,000 people.
Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or Jennifer.Dimas@colostate.edu.