Faces behind the produce: Colorado farmers meet to discuss expanding business

GRAND JUNCTION. Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Colorado farmers are a vital part of our economy, reportedly providing more than 173,000 jobs and contributing more than $40 billion to the state annually.

Ranchers and farmers met Thursday to share their stories and experiences about Colorado’s growing agriculture.

More than 3,600 farms take up 32 million acres of land in the state.

“We grow peaches, pears, cherries, and wine grapes, we used to grow a lot of apples but we don’t do that anymore, we pack for ourselves and other peoples. We process apple juice and recently we started making hard cider. And that cause my son and cousin’s son in law came back and so they were able to pick up the reins and do that,” said Bruce Talbott of Talbott’s Mountain Gold.

Colorado growers supply more than $2 billion in exported products to the world.

“My little metaphor is farmers and chameleons are in the same category for me always adapting to change adapting to our environment, said Fields to Plate Max Fields.

“We are playing a huge role, playing a role that no one else is willing to go these days and that’s getting into agriculture and producing food for our local communities,” said Fields.

For some, it’s a family business and for others, it’s their first time.

“Consumers really make a difference when they buy local when they make that choice to select a product with a Colorado proud logo they, are supporting the state's farmers, ranchers and local economy. Those products are spending less time in transportation so really it helps everybody and we really hope to give a glimpse into what its like to be a farm and ranch in Colorado,” said marketing specialist for Colorado Department of Agriculture Wendy White.

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