Coloradans across the state are making an effort to support local farmers and growers. Governor John Hickenlooper declared August to be “Colorado Proud” month.
Colorado Proud is a program through the Colorado Department of Agriculture that promotes buying locally grown and processed foods.
“When you buy these fresh, high quality products from ranchers and farmer, that goes back into your own community and ultimately helps the Colorado economy,” says Christi Lightcap, Communications Director for Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Agriculture is Colorado’s second largest economic sector worth over $41 billion.”
Anita Hix, owner of Anita’s Pantry and Produce in Palisade, is one of more than 1,700 farmers in Colorado who are members of “Colorado Proud.” Hix says selling locally allows her to cater to each customer’s desires.
“We’re Coloradans and we’re proud to offer good produce,” Hix says. “We all try to grow our fruit and pick our fruit for whoever we’re selling to. If they come to the markets or the farms that are local, they’re going to get a better taste because it’s local and it’s sweet.”
Hix has been growing fruit for 13 years and says half of her business depends on local sales. Whether they’re buying cherries, peaches or salsa, Hix says the experience her customers get from buying locally is what keeps them coming back.
“They have the experience of talking to growers and asking questions and learning and walking into the orchards and just experience it,” Hix says. “It’s beautiful out there in the orchards and we’re right here.”
To support local farmers in the Grand Valley, look out for the purple “Colorado Proud” logo in grocery stores. For a list of “Colorado Proud” farms, visit: http://www.coloradoproud.org