Former U.S. deputy ag secretary among keynote speakers for 2017 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Ag

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden will provide one of the many highlights for the 2017 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, when she steps up to the podium to deliver a presentation on an agricultural “future built by collaboration.” Harden, who currently serves as vice president of public policy and chief sustainability officer for DuPont, will share her perspective on the need for alliances with food, nutrition and conservation groups, as well as other non-traditional partners.

The Forum – taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver – will also feature addresses from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado State University President Tony Frank and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, among many others.

Titled “Label It: Agriculture,” this year’s event will be an innovative and informative program, bringing together producers, consumers, experts and other ag stakeholders to peel back the polarizing rhetoric often found in today’s society.

Stories can create divisive boundaries in agriculture between organic and conventional; urban and rural; large-scale and small-scale. The Forum will instead focus on the powerful history of collaboration and cooperation that has made agriculture in Colorado the state’s second-largest driver of our economy. It will challenge and equip attendees to seek out novel alliances and ideas to benefit their own operations, the industry statewide, and beyond.

Along with Harden, another keynote presentation will be delivered by Dr. Gregory Graff, an associate professor at Colorado State University, whose research looks at the economics and public policy of technological innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship, and how they drive economic development and industry change. His presentation will focus on “The Value of Colorado Agriculture.”

The day will also include breakout sessions covering CSU consumer surveys, pollinator health, conservation, National Western Stock Show developments, cooperatives, comparisons between global food production and local food, food safety, food labeling, food waste, and succession planning.

Look for future announcements as more details regarding the Forum agenda are finalized.

To learn more and get registered, go to For those who need accommodations, information for booking rooms at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver (3801 Quebec St.) can also be made at the Governor’s Forum website.

–Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program