MONTE VISTA — AS snow fell on the Valley, visitors at the 40th annual Southern Rocky Mountain Agriculture Conference and Trade Show braved the chilly weather for the second day of vendors, seminars, presentations and agricultural education at the Outcalt Event and Conference at SLV Ski Hi Complex.
This is the first time in two years that the conference has been held in person and though attendance seems average, Kyler Brown, Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference Coordinator said that it is lower than in previous years. It's also the first official event to be held inside the new event and conference center.
“A lot of people were actually surprised that we were hosting the event in person but as far as attendance goes it’s down only a little bit this year and we hope to see that change as we move forward. We are really happy with the new building, and everyone has been enjoying the new conference rooms. It was nice to have this center for the vendors and the seminars,” said Brown.
Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, started with a breakfast served by local SLV Rural Electric Cooperative members and employees. SLVREC Marketing-Sales Coordinator Jennifer Alonzo spoke about the new building and the difference it made in the conference this year.
“Everyone we have talked to has mentioned how great of a venue this is and the conference rooms are just wonderful. We really enjoyed serving breakfast this morning and have had a good turnout this year,” she said.
Over 90 vendors came this year to showcase their educational and informative booths throughout the main room of the complex.
“This center is probably one of the best things to happen here in the Valley in quite a few years. The building is amazing and will be a huge benefit to the community for many years to come,” said Rio Grande County Commissioner Chairman Gene Glover.
Glover and his fellow commissioners Scott Deacon and John Noffsker were in attendance Wednesday to greet visitors and to thank the committee that was responsible for putting the conference together.
“The committee that worked to put this year’s conference together did an amazing job. The event was very well planned and laid out throughout the entire building, and we were all very impressed with how things went,” said Glover.
Monte Vista High School participated by allowing students to attend the conference and participate in some of the presentations and interact with the vendors. Overall, the conference was considered a welcome success for the Valley and Monte Vista.
Plans for the next event are well underway, and according to CSU San Luis Valley Extension Director Larry Brown, the committee, Colorado State University and other organizations are looking forward to seeing the conference grow.
“We are anticipating that the conference will be better as we move forward and we are looking forward to the next 40 years,” Brown said.