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Maybell Egg Lady raises eggs, pork for Ag Week breakfast

Home-grown breakfast burritos

Colorado State University Extension Agent Todd Hagenbuch reminds an Ag Week audience that surveys have show vacationers are drawn to the intact farm and ranch landscapes of the Yampa Valley.
Tom Ross

— When farmers and ranchers sat down with their urban neighbors March 22 to dine on breakfast burritos at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, the scrambled eggs, pork sausage and green chili sauce served by the master gardeners at CSU Extension all came from “The Egg Lady in Maybell.”

The Egg Lady is really Kris Brannan, who, with her husband, Ed, grows leghorn chickens and white Duroc pigs on their ranch west of Craig. It was the eggs produced by the Brannans’ free-range chickens and stress-free pork that were served for breakfast.

The Brannans’ birds and eggs are hormone and antibiotic-free, according to their site within the Community Ag Alliance Local Food Marketplace.

The Community Agriculture Alliance, which sponsors Agriculture Week here, is working to strengthen the connection between town and city folk. Executive Director Marsha Daughenbaugh expressed her gratitude to local restaurants that take the extra trouble to serve locally produced foods, and she urged her breakfast guests to not only seek out those restaurants and menu items, but also to thank the restaurateurs.

“It’s much easier for them to just get their food delivered,” by one of the commercial purveyors who serve Northwest Colorado, she said.

Colorado State University Extension agent Todd Hagenbuch reminded his guests that the wide open spaces and views of cattle grazing at the foot of mountain ranges that dominate rural Routt County have been proven to be a factor in vacationers’ decisions to visit the Yampa Valley.

Hagenbuch cited a survey, first conducted by Colorado State in 1994, and again a decade later, confirming that, not only are those vacationers more apt to return here because of the views of ranchers and farms, but they also tend to stay longer and, hence, spend more money.

“The value of the view was worth more than the ag products produced from the land, on average,” Hagenbuch said. “When you drive up Vail Pass, what do you see? Condos, not cows. What is the value of that view? And what can you do in your position at the community bank or restaurant to help preserve that view and help support agriculture in Routt County?”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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