Community Agriculture Alliance: Buy local at Holiday Shopping Gala |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Buy local at Holiday Shopping Gala

Nancy B. Kramer/For the Steamboat Today

The upcoming Northwest Colorado Products Hometown Holiday Shopping Gala will be the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. This year’s gala is the 13th annual.

Started by Nancy Mucklow and the dedicated group of growers known as Routt County Woolens, the first events were held at the historic Depot Art Center. As an employee at the Depot, I got to witness attendees experience the full continuum of local product development, from material to end product: a Routt County Woolens blanket and byproducts. The lambs in the baggage room were not just cute but a clever educational and marketing tool about the importance and value of a local product.

Although the lambs will not be at this year’s event, more than 20 local producers with single and multiple products will be in Library Hall at Bud Werner Memorial Library today and Saturday, ready to share their stories and products with an opportunity to buy local directly from the producer. The Hometown Holiday event is a partnership of the Community Agriculture Alliance, Northwest Colorado Products and the Buy Local program of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Associa tion.

As the Community Agri­culture Alliance continues to create an environment for local entrepreneurs to thrive, Northwest Colorado Products is working with the Chamber to advance its mission: to establish and maintain a market for products and services that promote products that originate in Northwest Colorado. This partnership brings added value to our producer members through increased marketing, promotional and business development opportunities.

Although this partnership and others provide a foundation for our local producers and emerging entrepreneurs in Northwest Colorado, you, as a consumer, have a role to play, too: Buy local. Challenge yourself to turn 5 percent of your out-of-town purchases into local ones. You can begin to meet this goal by shopping at the 2010 Hometown Holiday Shopping Gala. Then, head to our Main Street merchants, where you can find additional locally grown and produced products. Do your part to sustain a local products industry that returns monies to our local economy.

Nancy B. Kramer is the project coordinator Northwest Colorado Products Program.

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