06-18-19 Colorado Proud Celebrates 20th Anniversary and Consumers’ Appetite for Local Food…

Colorado Proud Celebrates 20th Anniversary and Consumers’ Appetite for Local Food

New logo and campaign illustrate the growing business of local food and

“The Next Generation of Ag” with consumers, farmers, retailers, technology and innovation

DENVER, June 18, 2019 – The Colorado Department of Agriculture is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its award-winning Colorado Proud program, as well as the progress and “appetite” for locally-grown, raised or processed food in Colorado. Its story coincides with a growing consumer population that chooses to eat local foods — simultaneously boosting Colorado’s heritage, lifestyle, environment and economy, with agriculture as one of the biggest economic drivers in the state.

During its 20-year history, Colorado Proud has guided farmers, ranchers, retailers, chefs, schools and consumers through a local food movement with roots in Colorado and with an attitude that was “ahead of its time” in the late 1990s. In 1999, the program started with 65 companies; and now, the Colorado Proud program has more than 2,700 members that include growers, food manufacturers, restaurants, retailers and schools statewide.

Looking back, the program was developed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) well before local food was a familiar phrase, with a goal “to build relationships between farmers, ranchers, food producers, retailers and consumers,” according to Wendy White, marketing specialist for Colorado Proud who has been involved since the first year. “We wanted to give producers and businesses the right tools for sustaining those relationships, while helping them succeed and while educating consumers about the evolving, local food movement. We planted ‘seeds’ for this program in 1999, during a pivotal time in our industry, and we’ll continue to nourish this local interest with more initiatives, education and opportunities.”

The 20-year anniversary is aligned with Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg’s three major goals for the Colorado Department of Agriculture: supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers; rapidly scaling up investment in high-value agriculture/diversify market opportunities; and promoting and incentivizing soil, water and climate stewardship.

“Colorado Proud is a national leader in championing the diverse agricultural products grown, raised or processed in our state. As we celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary, we look forward to supporting both the current and the next generation of ag producers and ag businesses while continuing to educate consumers about how essential Colorado food and agriculture is to our way of life,” said Commissioner Greenberg.

“The Next Generation of Ag” – New Logo and Outreach Commemorate Anniversary

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Colorado Proud, an updated logo and tagline were developed. Colorado Proud’s former, purple-and-gold sunrise logo has evolved into a more-relevant image that resembles the Colorado flag and colors, while keeping the mountain symbol – easily recognizable by consumers and promotable in stickers, branding and signage.

In addition to its rebranding, Colorado Proud will host an agricultural community tour for consumers; an agriculture symposium for farmers, ranchers, retailers and industry leaders; and a school program for the next generation later this year. With an umbrella theme of “The Next Generation of Ag,” each component will focus on relationships, methods and innovation that continue to evolve – including consumers (from youth to adults); farmers and ranchers (from beginning to centennial); food culture; technology; environmental stewardship; diversified markets; and future trends.

“Just as we listened and learned about the need for Colorado Proud in 1999, we had conversations with our retailers and producers about their needs for 2019. The new logo and refreshed campaign will support the surge in local-food interest and the Colorado connection among residents and newcomers. We are responding, scaling up and literally feeding this local-food spirit and curiosity,” said White. “And, ‘The Next Generation of Ag’ theme puts on umbrella over every aspect of agriculture that’s growing and changing – literally – and that is impacting our state with fresh ideas that supersede today’s agriculture.”

Agriculture Advances Colorado

Colorado agriculture consistently ranks as one of the state’s top leading industries, advancing the state’s economy and preserving natural land. In fact, with more than 38,000 farms encompassing nearly 32 million acres, agriculture is a vital part of Colorado – providing more than 170,000 jobs, contributing more than $40 billion to the state’s economy annually, and feeding the world with nearly $2 billion in exported products. Colorado ranks in the top 10 nationally for production of a variety of agricultural products.

In addition, a recent CDA survey confirmed that 93 percent of Colorado consumers would buy Colorado-produced food, if labeled as such; 90 percent believe agriculture is important to the quality of life in Colorado; and almost 85 percent agree that supporting local food systems is important.

“Agriculture and local buying will continue to improve Colorado business and lifestyle, making our state even better and playing an important role in our culture. It’s also putting us back in touch with our communities. We are grateful for the social influence of what we used to call a ‘trend,’ but that we now see is an important part of Colorado’s culture and economy – a mainstay,” added White. “Colorado Proud’s anniversary captures this dynamic combination of history, business, heritage and people. We are excited for the next generation of consumers, farmers, ranchers, retailers, technology and innovation!”

About Colorado Proud

The Colorado Proud Program was created by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in 1999, to promote food and agricultural products that are grown, raised or processed in Colorado. One of the goals of Colorado Proud is to make it easier for consumers to identify and purchase Colorado products by labeling them with the Colorado Proud logo. In 1999, Colorado Proud started with 65 companies; and in 2019, its 20th anniversary year, the program has more than 2,700 members, including farmers, ranchers, food manufacturers, restaurants, retailers, schools and associations statewide. Additional media materials can be found in the Colorado Proud newsroom.

RELATED INTERVIEW

Inside the CDA’s Colorado Proud Program with Marketing Specialist Wendy White…

Featuring BARN Ag Reporter Samuel Bailey

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – May 15, 2019 – Did you know that Colorado Proud is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year?

Joining the BARN’s Samuel Bailey on the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss the CO Proud Program, its impact and much more is Wendy White, Marketing Specialist at the Colorado Department of Agriculture in the Markets Division

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Wendy Lee White has been a Domestic Marketing Specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture for more than 15 years. Her primary responsibility is managing the award-winning Colorado Proud program, which encourages consumers, restaurants, schools and retailers to purchase Colorado food and agricultural products. She organizes public relations and promotion efforts for the Markets Division in addition to developing division brochures and publications. Wendy is also actively involved with promoting agritourism events and activities in the state. Through the annual Colorado Farm Fresh Directory and the Department’s Web site, she helps farms and ranches market their agritourism operations to both residents and tourists. Wendy graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Animal Science and from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs with an MBA emphasizing Marketing.

To learn more about the Colorado Proud Program visit www.coloradoproud.org

The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture; promote a safe, high quality, and sustainable food supply; and protect consumers, the environment, and natural resources.  The vision of the Department of Agriculture is that Colorado agriculture be strong and vibrant, a key driver of the state’s economy, and recognized worldwide for its safe, affordable, and abundant supply of high quality food and agricultural products. If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Department of Agriculture stop by their offices @ 305 Interlocken Parkway in Broomfield, CO, give them a call @ 303-869-9000 or visit the CDA online @ www.colorado.gov/ag