Ag Appreciation Week starts Sunday

Audrey Dwyer

The Local Economy — the blending of agriculture and tourism. Community Agriculture Alliance will host the third Ag Appreciation week starting March 22 through March 29. Submitted by: Mark Ruckman.

— Agriculture is a major part of Routt County’s rich history.

“If you eat, wear clothes or drink water, you should really be aware that those things come from some source of agriculture,” said Marsha Daughenbaugh, executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance. “There is a strong presence of agriculture here, nationally and worldwide. We want people to recognize and appreciate that.”

For the third year, the Community Agriculture Alliance has helped to bring Ag Appreciation Week — also known as National Ag Week— to Steamboat. Starting March 22 and continuing through March 29, a number of events will highlight the value of agriculture.

The range of events will include discussions with local ranchers, historians and professors in addition to a Brown Bag Lunch, a Community Barn Dance and a Western BBQ Ag Appreciation Night.

Uniting the community with agriculture through activities and events, local businesses and restaurants will also be participating in the CAA campaign titled, “Where would you be without agriculture? Naked and hungry.”

“The more advocates we have for community agriculture the better, and the more locally raised products and ranchers we can use or work with in restaurants and stores the better,” said Kelly Landers, owner of Creekside Café, one of the restaurants involved in Ag Appreciation Week.

Next week, Creekside and other participating restaurants will feature locally sourced food with 100 percent of a customer’s purchase benefiting CAA.

“I think it’s important to bring the past to today and the future because without that knowledge of the past, I don’t think we can go into the future,” said Rita Herold, local historian who will be speaking at the “Historic Agriculture in the Yampa Valley” event March 23.

In her presentation, Herold will read a piece of cowboy poetry she wrote years ago about women in agriculture and how life for women here was a bit different than in other areas.

“In Routt County, there were smaller ranches and farms that didn’t have a lot of hired help,” she explained. “So the women and children worked alongside the husbands and also did the traditional household chores.”

A substantial benefit for the community that comes from Ag Appreciation Week is the opportunity to educate the public and increase understanding between the diverse groups of businesses and organizations in town.

“Agriculture is part of the heritage that is here naturally, and people need to be aware that it didn’t just happen but it has been years of hard work that made it so valuable for the community,” Daughenbaugh said.

Schedule of events for CAA’s Ag Appreciation Week:

March 21: Artists workshop with Beth Liggit — the Depot Art Center, 10 a.m.

Learn how to design and make horse tack jewelry. Cost of the workshop is $110, and materials are an additional $30. The workshop will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 1001 13th St.

March 23: “Historic Agriculture in the Yampa Valley” — Bud Werner Memorial Library, 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the Tread of Pioneers Museum, CAA and the library, the event features a panel discussion about “Historic Agriculture in the Yampa Valley: Longtime Perspectives on Farming, Ranching and Gardening.” Conversation will be led by rancher Dean Look, historian Rita Herold and three generations of Routt County CSU Extension agents Sam Haslem, CJ Mucklow and Todd Hagenbuch, who have a long history of agriculture production in the Yampa Valley. 1289 Lincoln Ave.

March 24: “Bugs and Gardening” workshop — Bud Werner Memorial Library, 6:30 p.m.

CSU Professor of Entomology and Extension specialist Dr. Whitney Cranshaw will discuss bugs. Learn how to provide (or eliminate) aspects of the environment that are required for optimal growth and development of insects in and around your yard, garden and home. 1289 Lincoln Ave.

March 25: “Bringing Your Food Product to Market” —

CSU ag economist and Extension specialist Martha Sullins presents a business planning workshop.

March 25: Range Management and Monitoring Workshop — Carpenter Ranch, 1 to 4 p.m.

Presented by CSU Extension, participants will learn how to assess the potential of land and set realistic goals. They’ll learn tools to help assess trade-offs, and compatibilities among grazing, wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

March 26: Houndstongue Management Workshop — Trout Creek Room, Routt County Courthouse Annex, 2 to 4 p.m.

Participants will learn all about Houndstongue, including taxonomy, identification, biology, ecology, history, folklore, animal health issues/toxicology, controls and timing, and land stewardship implications.

March 27: “Rugged Ranch Women: From Dawn to Dusk” — Tread of Pioneers Museum, noon.

Diane Holly and Marsha Daughenbaugh of the Community Agriculture Alliance will introduce attendees to some of the local women, from the past and the present, who played essential roles on their ranches.

March 27: Community Barn Dance — Depot Art Center, 7:30 p.m.

The Community Barn Dance will be hosted by Steamboat Stomp with snacks, a cash bar and a lots of fun. There is a $5 suggested donation. 1001 13th St.

March 29: Western BBQ Ag Appreciation Night — Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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