Ag Week returns to recognize local farmers and ranchers | SteamboatToday.com

Ag Week returns to recognize local farmers and ranchers

Austin Colbert

Community Ag Alliance

— The tagline is simple, straightforward and cuts directly to the heart of the matter.

"Where would you be without agriculture?" it reads. "Naked & Hungry!"

This stark reminder is the premise of Agriculture Week, which runs March 18 to 25 in both Routt and Moffat counties. An annual event organized by Community Agriculture Alliance, it aims to shine a spotlight of appreciation on the local agriculture industry.

"Part of Ag Alliance's mission is to educate about the vital importance of agriculture," said CAA Executive Director Marsha Daughenbaugh. "About five years ago, we decided we would like to try and make it an educational opportunity but also a sponsorship opportunity for Ag Alliance."

Businesses that choose to take part and recognize the importance of local agriculture this week will be have posters in their windows, with plenty of other advertising spread throughout the two counties.

Beyond simply recognizing the importance of agriculture, CAA is also sponsoring a handful of events this week. The main draw will be Monday's 6:30 p.m. panel discussion at Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, which will feature Wanda Redmond, Orval Bedell and Dennis Fisher, all locals involved in the agriculture industry.

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"Last year, we did it, and it was a packed house," Daughenbaugh said. "Each of them are bringing a different perspective to the discussion."

Bedell raised sheep for years before turning more toward outfitting. Redmond also has a history of raising sheep and cows, but has a background growing spinach and lettuce, as well. Fisher, a former Routt County commissioner, has extensive knowledge in community building.

Events continue at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with a showing of “Forest Garden Greenhouse” at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. A "Just Eat It" talk will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, also at the library, and "A Taste of History" program is set for noon to 1 p.m. March 25 at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

In addition, a CAA Market Producer Meet and Greet will be held from noon to 5 p.m. March 25 at the CAA office .

"The whole premise behind this is, regardless of whether you eat locally, you need to be thankful someone in agriculture is growing that product for you,” Daughenbaugh said.

Ag Week events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit communityagalliance.org.

April 2, CAA will host a Western barbecue on its local agriculture appreciation night. Tickets for the event can be purchased at steamboat.com.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert