Next generation focus of Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture

5781587As the global population increases dramatically in the next 20-50 years, it will be up to the next generation of agricultural producers to find a way to ensure that people are fed and clothed. Doing so will require new innovations and new approaches as the world’s food and fiber resources are not expected to increase dramatically in the coming years.

“Next Generation Agriculture”

Ag_Forum_squareEducating and working with the next generation of producers will be the focus on the 2016 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture – titled “Next Generation Agriculture” – to be held Feb. 18 at the Denver Renaissance Hotel. The event will include a number of timely talks and breakout sessions. Registration is available online at

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will welcome a notable lineup of speakers during the Forum’s morning session. Others on the agenda include:

  • Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown;
  • Dean of the Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences Ajay Menon;
  • David Brown, International Professor of Development Sociology and Co-Director of the Community & Regional Development Institute at Cornell University
  • Jason Resnick, Vice President and General Counsel, Western Growers Association

Drawing on the strengths of the next generation

“Not only has the technology used in agricultural production evolved significantly in the last 20, 10 or even 5 years, the next generation of agricultural producers has come to rely on innovation and entrepreneurship to advance our food and fiber production systems,” Menon. “If we are going to tackle pressing issues in food safety, food sustainability, and food security, then we must both train and learn from the next generation of producers who will position agriculture for feed a global population topping 9 billion people.”

“Colorado’s $40 billion-plus agriculture industry is a top two or three contributor to our state’s economy each year, employs thousands of Colorado residents, has been instrumental in leading us out of the recent recession, and most importantly, helps feed Colorado’s 5 million people,” said Hickenlooper. “Any conversations focused on supporting this industry and maximizing opportunities for the next generation of producers are absolutely worth having.”

Breakout sessions

A number of breakout sessions will also feature CSU faculty members including: Norm Dalsted, professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics; Pat Byrne, professor of soil and crop sciences, and Dr. Noa Roman-Muniz, associate professor of animal sciences and DVM. Breakout sessions will cover:

  • Succession Planning – Strategies and Resources
  • Leading In a Multi-Generational Workplace
  • Perspectives on Labor Across Agricultural Industry Sectors
  • The Changing Landscape of Women in Agriculture
  • Technology for Colorado’s Next Generation of Agriculture
  • GMO’s – What Are the Benefits, Challenges and Issues?
  • Creative Solutions for Land Access and Support for Next Generation Farmers

Agriculture Hall of Fame

The Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is held in conjunction with the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The ceremony will take place the evening of Feb. 18, also at the Denver Renaissance Hotel.

For information about the 2016 Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees, and to register for the ceremony, visit