The Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum is set for Jan. 24 and 25 at the Montrose Pavillion, 1800 Pavilion Drive. This is the eighth annual iteration of the event that brings farmers, ranchers and consumers together for the enlightenment of all factions.

The forum will be staged at the Montrose Pavilion with 18 agri-business workshops as well as world class speakers like keynote speaker Nicole Masters. Masters is a New Zealand native who runs a company called Integrity Soils. She works with producers worldwide. Her topic for the food and farm forum is Turning Your Soil On for Optimal Plant Health. She will discuss the topic in her address and in a workshop during the event.

If you recall that the forum was only open to producers in the past, that is no longer the case. Consumers are welcome, according to organizer Carol Parker.

One of the topics on the agenda is farm labor, which is “top of mind” for almost everyone in agriculture. Keri Owen the Foreign Labor Certification Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Labor will host a workshop dissecting the often difficult to comprehend H-2A and H-2B visas as they apply to housing inspections and the referrals of H-2 visa holders. Kerry Scott is program manager for MASLabor H-2A. MASLabor (Mas, being Spanish for “more”) is the largest supplier of H-2A and H-2B guest legal workers in the country. The workers cover virtually every segment of agriculture as well as landscaping and hospitality.

Early Bird pricing for the event is available through tomorrow. Early Birds can get admittance to all phases of the forum, including entry to the Farmer-to-Farmer Invention Contest and will have local food-breakfast, lunch and snacks for $100. Partial tickets available as well. Log on to foodfarm

forum.org to buy tickets and for more information.

Michael A. Cox is a Montrose-based content provider. He may be reached at michaelc@agwriter.us

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