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2016 Colorado Farm Show aims to connect people, products and progress of agriculture

Cutter Sneesby, 15, checks out one of the sharper pieces of equipment on display at the Colorado Farm Show on Thursday in the Island Grove Events Center in Greeley.
Joshua Polson/jpolson@greeleytribune.com | The Greeley Tribune

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For more information on the Colorado Farm Show, go to coloradofarmshow.com.

The theme of this year’s Colorado Farm Show is People, Products, Progress — three words that sum up the spirit of the farm show, said spokesman Erich Ehrlich.

For 52 years, the Colorado Farm Show at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley has been about offering resources and information to farmers, as well as highlighting the spirit of agriculture. It’s about the products that feed the world, from the cattle shuffling around Weld County feedlots to wheat tumbling across the eastern Plains. And now, more than ever, the show also is about the technology that allows producers to keep their operation moving forward.

That’s why one of the underlying themes at this year’s show Jan. 26-28 is weighing the feasibility of precision ag technology against falling commodity prices. Can the modern farmer keep up with the quickly changing ag-tech landscape and still keep his or her family fed?

Ehrlich said with all the innovation in the marketplace, it becomes a balancing act for producers between what’s needed to stay competitive and what’s actually feasible.

“Really, what we wanted to do is (something) for the people who are driving the ag economy. ”

There will be several presentations, such as a speech from the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, an ag economy presentation by Stephen Koontz of Colorado State University and panels on precision farming and big data.

“Topics and discussions about prices of innovations and precision farming in the marketplace (will) hit home with commodity prices and input costs being what they are,” Ehrlich said. “At what cost does a producer look into entertaining (these) and what’s the feasibility behind that?”

In addition to informational sessions and panels, the show will feature more than 300 exhibitors from all sectors of the market, including farm equipment, retail, service, industrial, manufacturing, financial and more.

The Colorado Farm Show also will pay tribute to Bill Jackson, a former Greeley Tribune reporter who was a force in Weld’s agricultural community for more than 30 years before he died suddenly of a heart attack last September. A tribute to Jackson is printed in the show’s program.

All these pieces come back to this year’s theme, Ehrlich said. It’s about the products and the complex topics that bring together the people who make up the industry, such as those speaking at the panels highlighted in the program or the 14 Colorado students who will receive scholarships from the Colorado Farm Show this year.

“Really, what we wanted to do is (something) for the people who are driving the ag economy,” Ehrlich said. “These are people who are passionate.”

But it’s not just about celebrating the way ag is, he said. After 52 years of Colorado Farm Show tradition, it’s important to keep that passion alive for future generations since agriculture and its influence aren’t going anywhere.

“We do have to make sure we tell our story and be good ambassadors for the rest of the world,” he said. ❖




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