CEO Update: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all!!! I know, technically it’s well past the time you are supposed to say Happy New Year, but I always figure I have a good two months. I do hope you enjoyed some time off with friends and family over the holidays and are ready for 2024.
One Colorado staple in January is always the National Western Stock Show. When I think of the Stock Show I’m reminded that 77% of Colorado’s landmass is rural representing 715,690 people. Agriculture is a key industry in almost all parts of rural Colorado and is crucial to the development of our food supply. In Colorado, we are fortunate to have 89% of all farms and ranches owned and operated by individuals and families, representing 38,800 farms and ranches as of 2021. The average size of a farm and ranch in Colorado is 820 acres with nearly 31.8 million acres farmed in the state. Farm cash receipts in 2020 were $7.28 billion with 71% livestock and livestock products and 29% vegetable crops. And as demonstrated through the National Western Stock Show, agriculture is big business bringing in over $170 million annually with attendance of over 700,000 people.
The National Western Stock Show yearly also ushers in cold weather. This year the January weather was in the minus ranges making it difficult to do much outside. But in true Colorado fashion, we are closing the month with some nice 50 degree weather.
Next month CRHC will be releasing our Annual Snapshot of Rural Health where you’ll be able to find more information about rural Colorado including agriculture and impacts of climate change. Keep an eye on your email for the eagerly anticipated launch of the report!