Colorado Ag Day at the State Capitol has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), however, we will still be celebrating agriculture’s contributions to Colorado from a social distance. National Agriculture Week (March 22-28) recognizes the ranchers and farmers across the nation who play a vital role in the production of safe, wholesome, food. In conjunction with this national week-long celebration, the Colorado Agriculture Council typically hosts Ag Day at the Capitol; an event that showcases Colorado’s diverse agriculture production and partners with state legislators and local chefs. It highlights the industry’s efforts in feeding, fueling, and clothing the state’s 5+ million residents, agriculture’s stewardship of the state’s resources, and agriculture’s economic impact—which is a top three contributor to the state’s economy, bringing in more than $40 billion annually and providing over 173,000 jobs.
Though you may see empty shelves at your local store, rest assured there is plenty of food, this is just a short-term disruption in the food distribution. There is still food in warehouses, it is simply a matter of getting it on shelves. It is especially important during this time that we continue to celebrate our nation’s hardworking agricultural producers as they, and other industry stakeholders, are still working tirelessly to ensure food remains on your plate. Agriculture is considered critical infrastructure to both the state and nation and will continue to operate, regardless of the challenges they may face. Farmers and ranchers are innovative entrepreneurs and business leaders who remain resilient in their dedication to Colorado agriculture and are still pushing forward. Calving, farrowing and lambing seasons are still commencing, eggs are still being laid, planting is still occurring, and feeding America will not stop.
While our industry is prepared to proceed with caution and take the necessary steps to limit the rate of infection of COVID-19, our producers will continue to fuel the economy and their communities by providing food and food products all across the state, nation, and world. We look forward to celebrating National Agriculture Week next week and celebrating our producers throughout the year. For more information about Colorado’s Agriculture Council and its members, please visit www.coloradoagcouncil.net.