Naked and Hungry: a preview of the 2019 Ag Appreciation Week | SteamboatToday.com

Naked and Hungry: A preview of the 2019 Ag Appreciation Week

The Saddleback Ranch/Double Dollar Cattle Company grazes steer on its 8,000 acres. (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sunday marks the start of Ag Appreciation Week, an annual celebration organized by Steamboat Springs' Community Agriculture Alliance to show support for local agriculture.

It is perhaps best known for its slogan, “Where would you be without agriculture? Naked and Hungry!”

From March 17 to 24, the Ag Alliance will host a series of events, most of them free, that feature locally produced food as well as the farmers and ranchers who cultivate it.

If you go

  • 6 to 9 p.m. March 17  Local Ag Night at Western BBQ, Steamboat Resort: Reservations required at steamboat.com 
  • 9 to 11 a.m. March 18 Ag Week Kickoff and Special Sale at Elk River Pet & Ranch: Celebrate Ag Week with free coffee and treats
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 18 Heritage Ag Storytelling at Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill Lodge: Featuring stories of local agriculture from Linda Long, Bill Gay and Connie Wagner
  • 3 to 5 p.m. March 19 Sustainable Local Food at Colorado Mountain College: Panel discussion on agriculture and food systems for a sustainable future
  • 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 19 Past, Present and Future of Ag at Soroco High School: Three generations of Rossi family share stories of local agriculture.
  • 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 20 Ag Breakfast at the Steamboat Springs Community Center: $6 per person includes “local food” breakfast burrito and conversation with local producers. Tickets online.
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.mMarch 21 Beer & Backyard Ag at Storm Peak Brewery: Overview of backyard gardening from Master Gardeners, beekeeping and
    backyard chickens from local producers.  Free presentation.
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 22 Producer Meet and Greet with Sunset Valley Meats, CAA Friday Farmers Market
  • Noon to 1 p.m. March 29 Taste of Routt County at the Tread of Pioneers Museum: Learn about ranching and hunting and taste local food.

What started as a single appreciation day in 2014 has grown to an event that technically stretches longer than a full week. Two of this year's 10 events occur after March 24, including the Taste of Routt County food sampling on March 29 and the State of the River discussion on April 3.

The annual celebration helps raise money for the local chapter of the Community Agriculture Alliance, a nonprofit, through business sponsorships and the enlistment of new Alliance members.

Last year's Ag Appreciation Week raised more than $26,000 for the nonprofit.

Michele Meyer has been with the Agriculture Alliance for nine years, but this marks her first time organizing Ag Appreciation Week as executive director. She sees the events as a way to show how integral farming and ranching are to Routt County.

"It's a way to connect with people and have them understand that they can be involved in agriculture, too — even if it's having a pot of herbs in their window or buying locally sourced eggs at the grocery store."

New this year is the Beer and Backyard Ag event at Storm Peak Brewing Co. on March 21. There, people can learn how to become urban farmers with an overview of keeping backyard gardens, bees and chickens.

Several Steamboat restaurants, including Big House Burgers, Creekside Café, Mazzola's Italian Diner, Laundry, Salt & Lime, Rex's American Grill & Bar, The Western Barbecue and Dude & Dans, will also serve special menu items featuring locally sourced ingredients. Meyer said the proceeds from those meals will go toward the Alliance.

People can contribute to the Ag

Alliance with a membership contribution on the organization's website.

Meyer also encouraged people to thank local farmers and ranchers for keeping them, well, clothed and fed.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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