Colorado Farm Show showcases latest and greatest |

Colorado Farm Show showcases latest and greatest

Story & Photos by Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Ft. Collins, Colo.
This John Deere combine was a popular place for people to stop and take photos.

Every January, thousands of people travel from across Colorado and several neighboring states to attend the Colorado Farm Show, the eighth largest farm show in the country.

“The Colorado Farm Show is made for farmers and ranchers in the area. We bring people in who are interested in the vendor’s product, and who want to learn and be educated on new topics,” said Steve Foos, Chairman of the Colorado Farm Show. “This is a big event in Colorado, and in the neighboring states as well.”

The three-day event, which was held Jan. 29-31, featured about 350 exhibitors from around the country. “The venders were pleased, and that’s what we like to hear. A lot of people, people who came back the last day were here to buy, and that made it a good day for vendors,“ said Foos.

The first day was Ag Spotlight and Beef Day. The Ag Spotlight focused on such topics as is media ruining agriculture, a drought roundtable discussion, and precision agriculture: moving into the future of agriculture.

The Beef Day seminars included increasing consumer demand for beef, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association producer programs, the state veterinarian livestock health update, challenges for the U.S. Beef Industry: results of the 2011 National Beef Quality Audit, prospects for profit in 2013: a market outlook for cattle, feed and grain, what the cattle feeder is looking for: performance and market value, creating and capturing values: packer and retail, and rebuilding the cow herd while creating value in all sectors of the beef industry.

The second day was the Hay and Forage, Dairy and Partners in Ag Days. The Hay and Forage seminars began in the morning with information on lab analysis interpretation and lab variation, silage management today: huge money, made or lost, what UW-Madison dairy cows told us about corn shredlage, a state of the union address regarding Colorado’s water issues and a panel discussion of alternative feeds.

For the dairy days, participants could learn about animal welfare issues in the dairy industry, why animal welfare and why now: the customers perspective on animal welfare and why it matters, a producer discussion on ensuring animal well-being on Colorado dairy farms, benchmarking starch digestibility: corn silage, shredlage and snaplage and beyond feed conversion: a new look at dairy profitability.

The Partners in Ag section featured seminars on oral family history, the yodeling cowboy and a Colorado Farm Bureau legislative update.

On Wednesday there was also a discussion about Colorado weather. Nolan Doesken, State Climatologist, discussed after the drought of 2012, what comes next?

Thursday was another Partners in Ag day, as well as Equine Day. The Partners in Ag Speakers informed visitors about container gardening, preserving the harvest, irrigation system recognition and a presentation by the Rocky Mountain Raptor program.

For the Equine Day, the morning session was dedicated to talking about an update on the unwanted horse: where do we go from here? The discussion was facilitated by Ron McDaniel, National Sales Manager from Equine, Merck Animal Health. The afternoon session was conducted by Dr. Josh Zacharias, the Equine Surgeon at Countryside Large Animal Veterinary Services in Greeley. He talked about first aid for horses, and when it’s time to call the veterinarian.

“This year we had a really good show, and everyone is excited for the 50th year next year,” said Foos.

Admission to the show is free, and the fees that are collected for parking and other excess revenue is used to award scholarships to local high school students who plan to pursue a career in agriculture.

These scholarships are named after Chuck Urano, who was one of the founders of the Colorado Farm Show. He was a horticulturist with Weld County Extension.

The scholarships were awarded to Derek Whittington of Fleming, Kaylie Lewis of IIiff, Ryan Vargas of Rye, Clay Patton of Limon, Sarah Hirsch of Eaton, Cody Roth of Fort Collins, Sean Arnold of Vona, Tanner Dunivan of Walsh and Cole Ridnour of Burlington.

The Colorado Farm Show Volunteer of the Year is Bob Hamblem. He has been volunteering in some facet for 30 years. He said, “I am excited for the path and the development that the Colorado Farm Show exemplifies, I am also glad that I can always volunteer my time to an industry I devoted my life to.”

The Colorado Farm Show is planned and managed by nearly 100 volunteers, and is a not-for-profit event. The 2014 Colorado Farm Show will be held from January 28-30. ❖