Community Agriculture Alliance; Celebrate agriculture | SteamboatToday.com

Community Agriculture Alliance; Celebrate agriculture

Marsha Daughenbaugh/For Steamboat Today

Community Ag Alliance

Agriculture Appreciation Week is March 18 through 25.

What does agriculture do for you?

• It keeps you from being naked and hungry. In 1960, the American farmer and rancher fed 26 people worldwide. Through increased efficiency in resource management, improved production techniques and progressive performance, that figure has risen to 155.

• It contributes to fuel and other bio-products. For example, while 43 percent of a beef animal is processed into retail meat cuts, 55 percent is used as a basis for pet and plant food, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, anti-freeze, gelatins and numerous other products. Only 2 percent of an animal is disposed of.

• It visibly protects working landscapes and open spaces, contributing to wildlife and bird populations.

• In Routt County, $46 million is contributed annually to our economy by sales of livestock, grains, hay and alfalfa.

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• Of equal importance is the cultural contribution of our ranchers and farmers. Many are multi-generational families whose ancestors built our towns, churches, schools, civic organizations and communities from the time this area was first developed. They remain active with community activities and are the best of the best when it comes to farm production, agribusiness management and marketing, agricultural research and engineering, food science, processing, retailing, banking, education, landscape architecture, urban planning, energy development, veterinary research, wildlife protectors, youth volunteer workers, historians, health care workers and, of course, stewards of the land.

• It keeps us local.

What can you do to show your appreciation of agriculture?

• Contact your favorite local farmers or ranchers. Acknowledge their long, hard hours, and let them know you appreciate their amazing dedication to a profession that is important to your lifestyle. Recognize your friendship, and tell them thanks for producing affordable food and fiber. Show your appreciation for abundant food at the grocery stores and clothing in the retail stores. Say thanks.

• Acknowledge the support shown by the elected officials of our local towns, cities and counties for the protection of local agriculture.

• Don't take for granted that food and fiber in America is abundant, affordable and amazing.

• Become a Yampavore. Be local, buy local, brag local.

• Participate during Ag Appreciation Week March 18 through 25. Community Agriculture Alliance has rallied many local restaurants, businesses, agencies and organizations to provide good food and good education at a variety of venues.

• "Meet Your Farmer" at the CAA Market Pick-up March 18 and 25.

• Support our local businesses that have joined Community Agriculture Alliance's efforts. Look for our posters, and do business with participating retailers.

• Dine at participating restaurants, many of whom are buying local foods from local producers, not only during Ag Appreciation Week, but year round.

• Attend events and film screenings at Bud Werner Library and Tread of Pioneers Museum.

Full details about Agriculture Appreciation Week can be found on our website, communityagalliance.org or by calling our office at 970-879-4370.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is executive director of Community Agriculture Alliance.