Community Agriculture Alliance: Be ‘Colorado Proud’ this month

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August is “Colorado Proud” month, and for good reason. Consider Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proclamation:

■ Whereas, the Colorado Proud program promotes the freshest, locally grown agricultural products in the state;

■ Whereas, the Colorado Proud program helps more than 1,450 Colorado companies market their food and agricultural products;

■ Whereas, the Colorado Proud program makes it easier for consumers, retailers, schools and restaurants to buy locally grown and processed products;

■ Whereas, the Colorado Proud program encourages the state’s chefs and schools to use Colorado-grown items in their daily menus;

■ Whereas, Colorado Proud encourages consumers to buy locally produced foods which decreases food miles and assists in combating climate change; and

■ Whereas, the Colorado Proud program helps to ensure the future of Colorado’s agricultural industry—an industry that plays a vital role in our state’s economy.

Therefore, I, John Hickenlooper, Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim August 2011, Colorado Proud Month.

According to Colorado’s agricultural commissioner, August is the perfect month in which to showcase Colorado’s diverse bounty. Here in Steamboat Springs, Safeway and City Market are advertising two different Colorado Proud items — Olathe corn grown here on the Western Slope and Sakata corn grown in Weld County.

Colorado produces a wide variety of food products, including animal feed, wine, fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, artisan cheeses, breads, jams, jellies and honey. Just about anything you would want to eat can be grown in our state. Products from the state are not only found at the chain grocery stores, but also at local farmers markets and restaurants. Colorado products also are exported across the U.S. and to more than 1,000 countries.

Colorado Proud is a program set up in 1999 by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to help promote locally grown, raised or processed food to consumers across the state. There now are more than 1,500 members of the program. Buying Colorado Proud products encourages the people of the state to buy locally, which ensures not only the freshest food but also helps local and state economies. When you’re purchasing food, look for the Colorado Proud symbol.

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