There are opportunities in Colorado agriculture to build bridges between varying commodities and communities that make up the farm scene, according to a new Colorado State University study.
"The Value Chain of Colorado Agriculture," just released from CSU's Office of Engagement, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, show economic relationships among the sectors of the state's farming industry which make it one of the largest contributors to Colorado economics.
"This study reveals that our connections to Colorado agriculture are both broad and deep," says Lou Swanson, CSU Office of Engagement vice president. "The value chain focuses on these interconnections, leading to growth opportunities and innovations in agriculture and other sectors of our economy."
CDA chief John Salazar thinks the report is important because "It provides everyone from consumers to producers to policy makers the opportunity to form decisions based on a common starting point."
Colorado agriculture is a front player in the state's economy, contributing about $40 billion a year to the financial statement, including all aspects of the industry. Responsible for 100,000 of the state's workers, the farm industry is considered to be a pivotal industry for the Rocky Mountain state.
Among the state's farm attributes is a high sunflower production – the fourth largest region for the crop in the U.S. – and a vibrant pinto bean industry, yielding 100 million pounds a year. The state's sheep and lamb industry is an earmark of the industry as well.
But all this is often viewed as an unrelated collection of separate commodity businesses. The value chain study makes connections among the sometimes disparate industries and sectors that nonetheless share common resources, constraints and opportunities, the study authors contend.
A series of outreach meetings based on the report will be conducted on an as-requested basis throughout the state in the spring and summer. While the sessions are not yet scheduled, growers can find out when they will be held when they are posted at www.outreach.colostate.edu, where a complete copy of the study may also be viewed.