Community Agriculture Alliance columns

This weekly column about agriculture issues is written by area farmers, ranchers and policymakers. It publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today.


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Community Agriculture Alliance: Branding a time-honored, necessary tradition

It is the time of year when nearby ranches are branding the new crop of calves. It is a celebration of a successful calving season, a time-worthy tradition and a labor-intensive day filled with help from family and friends. Why do we do it?

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Why we need to talk about food waste

We all eat. Unfortunately, we all throw away food. Every year, 40 percent of food produced in the United States is thrown away. When one in eight Colorado residents are food insecure, there needs to be more awareness about how food waste can be diverted to the people who need it. Food waste has major environmental, social and economic implications.

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Community Agriculture Alliance; Ranching in the Yampa Valley

Ranching this time of year always proves to be something of a challenge in the beautiful Yampa Valley.

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Every day is Earth Day

Since Earth Day always falls during our season-ending spring break week, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is dedicating a month to celebrate “Every Day is Earth Day” and raise awareness of local sustainability efforts.

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Lessons learned

The cool thing about history is that is allows us to learn from our mistakes. By studying what went wrong, we can take action to make it right.

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Transitioning seasons with nature

Seasonal changes are underway, and I encourage you to take time to enjoy the Yampa Valley’s natural beauty during this period of transition.

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Sheep and lettuce were mainstays in Routt County agriculture from the early days

Can a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep mate with a domestic ewe? Just ask Orval "Junior" Bedell during Ag Appreciation Week.

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Busy schedule ahead for Agriculture Week

Agriculture Week returns to Routt County this week, a time dedicated to recognizing the importance of local agriculture.

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Ag Week returns to recognize local farmers and ranchers

The tagline is simple, straightforward and cuts directly to the heart of the matter. “Where would you be without agriculture?” it reads. “Naked & Hungry!”

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Community Agriculture Alliance; Celebrate agriculture

Agriculture Appreciation Week is March 18 through 25. Consider all the things agriculture does for you.

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Community Agriculture Alliance; Forest agriculture and the importance of planning

Forest and ranch landowners wanting to actively manage their land for proper forest health and productivity should speak with a professional forester. If certain requirements are met, you may qualify for the Forest Agricultural Tax Program.

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Community Ag: Conservation districts — a local voice in agriculture, conservation

Colorado is home to 76 conservation districts, each focusing attention on its own unique projects and priorities.

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Community Ag Alliance: Support local agriculture during Ag Appreciation Week

The warmer weather around the valley has given me an early case of spring fever. Along with the prospect of favorite trails becoming dry and glacier lilies popping up from the thawing ground, spring brings Ag Appreciation Week.

Community Ag Alliance: Which way will the water flow?

Living at the headwaters of the Yampa River and many of her tributaries makes it easy for us to take water for granted. We turn on the faucets, and water flows out. We open our headgates, and water rushes through. We put our boats into the rapids, and water takes us downstream. We toss a line into a high mountain lake, and a fish attaches itself to the hook.

Community Ag Alliance: Cattle trade enters age of technology

Auctions are traditionally how cattle are sold. Even in the days of the cattle drive, cattle were taken to auction, and the producer had no choice but to take the price offered, since taking the cattle home would be costly. This method is still an option but is losing its hold as the most common choice.