Statewide initiative focuses on strengthening agriculture

A study announced by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday would help the agricultural industry present unified economic and policy goals to state officials.

Called the Agricultural Value-Chain Analysis, the study will highlight connections among sectors tied to ranching and farming in the state. Hickenlooper announced the statewide initiative Thursday during the annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture in Denver.

CSU and the Colorado Department of Agriculture will work on the study.

Gregory Graff, an associate professor in CSU’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, will collaborate with fellow CSU economists on the study.

“We’re trying to initiate communication across the industry in a way that’s ultimately useful to state policy-making,” Graff said in a statement issued by CSU.

The study will support the work of the newly formed Colorado Agricultural Cluster. As part of the state’s Colorado Blueprint initiative, which aims to retain and create jobs, the cluster will work with state Office of Economic Development and International Trade to build a business-friendly environment, increase access to capital and educate and train workforces.

Kathay Rennels, CSU assistant vice president for community and economic development, is leading the agricultural cluster with help from others at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

“Now is the time for agriculture to join together in a new way, and to form and communicate a shared vision for its future in Colorado,” Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar said in the statement.

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