If you haven’t attended the Four States Agricultural Exposition in recent years, you’re likely to be surprised at the breadth of agriculture in the region. It goes far beyond cattle, hay and grain, and its diversity is a growing strength.
From traditional operations to market gardens supplying local restaurants, from the sale barn to farmers markets, from cattle to hemp and curly-haired pigs in the pen, from toddlers pretending to rope steers and ride broncs, to 4-H and FFA students, to seniors who’ve worked on the land for decades, agriculture has many different faces. It’s still here, going strong and not going away.
Kudos to the Ag Expo organizers, who have included something for nearly everyone. Whether attendees want to gain up-to-date information, look into the newest crops being grown near here, learn something new, check out equipment, converse with friends, watch some talented young people show off very impressive skills as they grow into their place in the world, or just be entertained, the Ag Expo is the place to be this weekend.
And all of this is in celebration of, and service to, the agricultural industry and tradition in this region. Ag may not be as large a part of the economy as it once was, but it is as important as ever in determining the character of this place.
An important highlight of the expo will be screenings of the film, “Farmers for America,” sponsored by the local Four Corners Farmers and Ranchers Coalition, a joint chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. It plays Friday in Cortez and Saturday at the Strater Theatre in Durango.
At the center of the film are the farmers, young and old, who provide the spirit and energy to bring urban and rural America together over what both have in common: our food. These farmers are the face of America.
The film also asks from where the next generation of farmers will come? A concern shared by Reps. Catlin (R-Montrose) and McLachlan (D-Durango) who have crafted a bill (Herald, March 3) to form an agricultural workforce development program to help young farmers intern with ag businesses.
So, come out this weekend to learn what’s new in agriculture, celebrate what’s timeless and greet some local folks who grow our food and fiber. See fourstatesagexpo.com for information.