Colorado's agricultural industry consistently earns its ranking as one of the state's top three industries, advancing the state's economy and preserving the environment. With more than 36,000 farms encompassing 31 million acres, agriculture is a vital part of Colorado -- providing more than 173,000 jobs; contributing more than $41 billion to the state's economy annually; and feeding the world with nearly $2 billion in exported products. Colorado also ranks in the top 10 nationally, for production of a variety of agricultural products. Buying local has proven its positive impact on the economy, environment, healthy lifestyle and Colorado's western heritage.
On Aug. 1, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown and other speakers will launch the Colorado Proud "Follow Your Fruits and Veggies Journey," a month-long, historical and interactive trek among Colorado's agricultural landscape, to link the stages of locally-grown produce and connect Coloradans to local farmers. Scheduled from Aug. 1-31, the Follow Your Fruits & Veggies Journey integrates agricultural communities, celebrates produce farmers who help our state thrive, and educates consumers about locally grown produce. The journey includes a stop in Hotchkiss, as it moves from Denver to Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Durango, Frisco, Dillon, Yuma, Littleton, and then back to Denver.
The Hotchkiss stop coincides with the Farm to Fiddle Festival Aug. 12-13, to be held in downtown Hotchkiss on the heels of the Delta County Fair.
The Farm to Fiddle Festival will showcase local organic farms, vineyards and wineries, cottage foods and products, beverage and food tasting. There will be a farmers market, as well as entertainment, arts and crafts, a juried art show and an outdoor expo.
More information can be found at www.northforkvalley.net.