2016 Colorado Ag Day at the Capitol scheduled for March 16 | TSLN.com

2016 Colorado Ag Day at the Capitol scheduled for March 16

A cook-off competition featuring Colorado-grown foods and the teaming up of local chefs, lawmakers and representatives of the ag industry will highlight Ag Day at the Capitol – an annual celebration of Colorado's producers and agribusinesses that this year is set for Wednesday, March 16, at the Capitol Building in Denver.

The 40 agricultural organizations that make up the Colorado Ag Council host Ag Day at the Capitol, which takes place as part of National Ag Week. The event has become one of the most popular under the Golden Dome, attended by about 500 people, including the governor, state legislators, farmers, ranchers, media and the general public.

Ag Day at the Capitol this year begins at 10:45 a.m., with lunch being served at 11:30 a.m.

"Chefs, senators, representatives, farmers and ranchers … throw them all into the mix and you have Ag Day at the Capitol," said an enthusiastic Jason Morse, executive chef and owner of 5280 Culinary LLC. Morse has assisted in organizing Ag Day at the Capitol and been one of the competing chefs in recent years, and he will take part again this year. "Once again, culinary experts with the Colorado Chefs Association get to pair with local producers and lawmakers to showcase the bounty of what Colorado has to offer. This is such a special event for our chefs association, as we get the opportunity to give back to the ag community, and say 'thanks' with some amazing menu items."

Each year, Ag Day at the Capitol highlights all that Colorado's ag industry does for our state, such as its efforts in feeding Colorado's 5 million-plus people, its stewardship of our resources, and its $40 billion economic impact – a top two or three contributor to the state's economy each year. The event also recognizes the ag industry's incredible generosity to those in need. According to Kevin Seggelke, CEO of the Food Bank of the Rockies, Colorado's ag industry is continually one of its biggest supporters. In 2015, the total value of Colorado ag products distributed by the state's five Feeding America food banks amounted to about $15 million.

Other highlights during Ag Day at the Capitol will include recognizing this year's newly designated Colorado Centennial Farms. The Colorado Centennial Farms program is a collaborative effort among History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, created to recognize the important role agriculture has played in our state's history and economic development. Colorado Centennial Farms was the first program of its kind in the nation to give Historic Structure Awards to families who have successfully preserved historic buildings on their farms and ranches.

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Anyone looking for more information about Ag Day at the Capitol can contact event manager David Collie at david@5280culinary.com.

–Colorado Ag Day

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