Colorado fruit and vegetable growers will soon be able to speak with one voice on common and sometimes complex issues they face, from evolving consumer preferences and food safety concerns to labor and water issues. A new professional association will also provide an information portal for both conventional and organic commercial growers throughout the state.
Four key growing regions of Colorado (Arkansas Valley, Northern Colorado, San Luis Valley and the Tri-River Area of Western Colorado) are currently represented on the board of directors for the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA); members are being recruited from Southwest Colorado as well. The board is supported by Colorado State University Extension staff and a grant from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Emerging trends in consumer preferences and how growers can adapt to them are an example of the topical nature of the group’s formation, according to board president Robert Sakata.
“I’m a second-generation Colorado vegetable farmer and one of my goals for the CFVGA is to find out how we can help continue the rich history of fruit and vegetable production in the state,” said Sakata. “I’m also excited about the opportunity to meet the new faces that are looking to join us in our extremely important profession – feeding America.”
Many other groups promote marketing and improved growing practices in the state, but according to CSU Extension agent Adrian Card the niche of this organization is to provide one voice for all produce growers in Colorado.
“CFVGA works to improve business conditions by addressing business risks of produce growers based on education, outreach and engagement,” said Card. “I think this shows a great public-private partnership for the future vitality of Colorado fruit and vegetable growers and for the citizens of Colorado who are benefiting from their produce.”
The association will officially launch during a workshop at the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture (http://www.governorsagforum.com/), Feb. 27 in Denver. For more information, contact CFVGA board president Robert Sakata at (303) 947-3097 or by email at email@example.com.