ALAMOSA– Following the lead of county commissioners in Weld County, the Alamosa Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution Wednesday recognizing the importance of agriculture in the county.
Various counties across the state have passed resolutions recognizing the “contributions of cattlemen and other livestock producers” in their area in response to Governor Jared Polis’ declaration of March 20 as “Meat-OUT Day”, asking the state’s residents to avoid eating animal products on that day.
Alamosa’s resolution proclaims March 20, 2021 as Alamosa County Ranching and Agricultural Day, and Alamosa County “MEAT-IN” day, and encourages the community to continue to support local businesses by celebrating “MEAT-IN” day at your local restaurant of choice.
The statement goes on to say, “the Board of County Commissioners expresses its concern that the Governor of Colorado would call for the boycott, even for one day, of an industry that is so vital to our local and state economy.”
The commission also supports Senate Bill 21-079 concerning deregulation of direct to customer meat sales in support of ranch to table private enterprise and for all other legislative actions that support strengthening Colorado agriculture.
Alamosa county’s resolution quotes dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizing “that a variety of animal and plant proteins is important to a healthy diet. Cattle, livestock, and the production of crops supporting the livestock industry has historically been, and continues to be, one of the key economic drivers in Alamosa County.”
Statistics quoted in the resolution show, “in 2016, the North American Meat Institute reported a direct economic impact to the state of Colorado of $3.7B, and a total economic impact of $13.2B. This generated nearly $32M in taxes to the State of Colorado.”
The USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture reported all animal sales in the San Luis Valley totaled nearly $57M, of which approximately $39M was the result of cattle sales. According to the USDA, the San Luis Valley has a current cattle inventory of 85,300 head.
Additional documentation shown is the number of jobs in agribusiness in the San Luis Valley is 4,984, which represents 25.6% of all traditional base jobs and is the largest traditional base industry employer of the San Luis Valley.
Alamosa County is declared a “Right to Farm and Ranch” county and fully supports the agriculture community by its support of Colorado State University Extension Services, youth 4-H programs, and the San Luis Valley Fair Board.
According to statistics from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Alamosa county ranked 18th of the state’s 63 counties in 2018 in total agricultural production at $89.3 million. Saguache county ranked 13th at $105.4 million, followed by Rio Grande county at $99 million. Conejos was 35th at $53.9 million, followed by Costilla at 39th with $22.1 million. Mineral County did not report.
The total ag production of the SLV in 2018 was nearly $370 million. Weld County topped the state that year with $2 billion.