Colorado agriculture unites to celebrate industry

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RANGELY | Colorado’s agriculture industry responded to Governor Jared Polis’ meat-free proclamation, by offering up barbecues (Meat Ins) statewide.

Governor Polis recently signed a proclamation declaring March 20 a day everyone should go without eating meat and instead urging people to opt for plant-based foods. The proclamation dubbed the day ‘Meat-out Day.’

This did not sit well with many lifelong Rio Blanco County ranching families nor supporters of agriculture throughout the United States. Agriculture is a significant economic driver in our state, contributing $41 billion to the Colorado economy and employing nearly 173,000 people, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The livestock industry is big business in Colorado, a state that is the third-largest producer of sheep and lambs in the U.S. and has 2.7 million head of cattle. The CDA also notes that approximately 60% of the state’s $7.1 billion in agricultural cash receipts are attributed to livestock.

ROXIE FROMANG PHOTO

On March 9 the Rio Blanco County Commissioners approved a resolution recognizing the many past and current contributions of livestock producers and support for the local ranching industry proclaiming March 20, 2021 as Rio Blanco County’s Meat-In Day.

Shortly after the March 9 meeting Tim Webber, Jeff and Rebecca Rector, Jennifer Hill, Frank Huitt, Gary Moyer, Jeff LeBleu, Shawn Morgan, Brandon and Connie Lister, Bill and Janie Leigh, Giovanni’s Italian Grill, El Agave Mexican Restaurant, Rangely Fire Department, the Town of Rangely, and The Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce came together to organize a celebration for the occasion. The smokers fired up at the Rio Blanco County Western Annex building and slowly cooked 250 pounds of succulent beef brisket for 26 hours prior to the event on Saturday March 20. Rio Blanco County Commissioner Jeff Rector reports around 500 residents enjoyed the beef dinner with all the fixings.

By ROXIE FROMANG | Special to the Herald Times

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