Agriculture conference held this week

Kam Quarles, vice president of public policy for the National Potato Council, kicked off the special presentations on Tuesday morning Photo by Anthony Guerrero 

MONTE VISTA— The 2019 Southern Rocky Mountain Agriculture Conference and Trade Show kicked off on Tuesday, Feb. 5 and will continue through Thursday, Feb. 7. The annual event is popular and offers valuable information sessions for San Luis Valley agriculture industry leaders. The multiple day conference focuses each day on a different area of interest to the agriculture community which include agronomics, business and irrigation.
Tuesday morning began with an update on policy issues from Kam Quarles, Vice-President of the National Potato Council. Tuesday also saw the first day of the trade show which many agriculture focused businesses and organizations take advantage of to advertise and possibly sell their products to local farmers and ranchers. The day continued with agronomics centered presentations.
The conference continues today with sessions focused on the business side of the industry. Today, will also feature the keynote speaker. Don Brown, former commissioner of agriculture for the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), will be addressing attendees beginning at 1:30 p.m. He will be speaking about the CDA’s work in agriculture from domestic issues to international trade.
Thursday will be the final day and will be centered around irrigation or water-related issues. There will be valuable talks by CSU, Rio Grande Water Conservation District and the Colorado Division of Water Resources among others. These sessions are likely to be an intriguing topic on one of the Valley’s most valuable resources.
Each day of the conference also features lunch, breaks and socials (Tuesday and Wednesday nights) that are sponsored and catered by different local businesses. The meals are always delicious and are a good networking and mingling opportunity.
While all sessions are valuable, some other presentations of note that occur during the week are an update on Colorado craft breweries, women in agriculture, Trinidad State Junior College, and hemp production. These items and others will be reported on in detail in future editions of the Monte Vista Journal.

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