The agrobusinesses that offer agrofarming tours and agrofood products are gaining popularity as the state moves toward becoming the first in the country to fully legalize outdoor farming.
As Colorado becomes the nation’s first to allow recreational agroeconomic activity on public land, it is becoming increasingly popular to tour the state’s agroforestry programs.
In the past decade, Colorado has become one of the nations top agroforests, and agros are beginning to appear on grocery shelves in major cities.
“Colorado has been a leader in the development of agro tourism in recent years,” said Jeff Kuchler, president of the Colorado Agrotech Association, which represents more than 30 companies that make and sell agricultural products and services.
“The tourism industry is booming in Colorado and has the potential to become a major economic driver.”
Agroforestries are the growing crop of choice for Colorado’s agronomic industry.
More than 90% of the state is arable land, which includes farmland, waterfowl ponds and pastures.
About 90% is managed to grow food for humans.
In recent years, agrolandry has become an increasingly popular way to bring people together and learn about agriculture and related industries.
While the number of businesses that sell products made from plants grown on public lands has grown steadily in recent decades, agros have always been more than just a commodity, Kuchberg said.
“They’re a part of the fabric of our society and culture,” he said.
Agrofarms are growing more and more popular in Colorado.
A 2010 survey conducted by the Colorado Farm Bureau, for example, found that more than half of all households in the state own a farm.
Many more people are also buying farm products at grocery stores, where they often buy products made by other farmers or from farmers’ markets.
Agros have grown in popularity as a way to learn about the agricultural industry and the growing economy in Colorado, Kichler said.
Agroforestor’s have also become a popular part of local community events and festivals.
The Agrotechnics and AgroFarming Association has grown from an association of about 30 agro companies in 1999 to more than 300 today.
A year ago, the association began holding agroevent and educational programs to attract more people to the area.
The association’s annual festival is held on the third weekend of July, and Kucher is planning to host a two-day event this year.
The event will include lectures and presentations from people in the agro industry, and attendees can participate in a variety of activities including agrowork, agropiloting and farm tours.
The events have also attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which last year awarded the Agrotechenics Association a grant of up to $3 million to continue their work in the area of agros.
The grant includes a $1 million program to continue to expand its agro education programs and to recruit and train more educators in the field.
“It’s exciting to see how much people are interested in agro,” Kuchinger said.
“We see a lot of interest from people who have never heard of agri-tours before,” said Steve Wojcik, the vice president of communications and public affairs for the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
“It’s a very diverse group of people that are willing to share their knowledge of the agros that are growing on their property.
It’s a great opportunity to connect people with agros.”
The Agrofarmers Association is looking forward to seeing how many people participate in the events and what kind of experiences they can have.
Kuchers’ first visit to the Agro FARM festival will be this July.
“Agro is a very, very, important part of our life and our culture,” Kichinger said, “and it’s not just about the fruits and vegetables we buy.
It is also about the people we work with.”
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