March 26, 2014
THIRD ANNUAL COLORADO FARM TO FORK CULINARY COMPETITION:
Colorado Chefs, Farmers, Ranchers and Legislators Create Recipes Defining Colorado Cuisine
DENVER – March 26, 2014 – Today, the Colorado Agriculture Council partnered with the American Culinary Federation Colorado Chefs Association (ACFCCA) to celebrate Colorado Agriculture Day. As a part of National Agriculture Day (www.agday.org), this event was designed to highlight agriculture’s value to Colorado’s economy, emphasize the importance of buying local and share the bounty that agriculture creates with those in need.
Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar, Colorado Senator Gail Schwartz and Colorado Representatives Randy Fischer and Jerry Sonnenberg joined the celebration with local chefs, farmers, ranchers and legislators at the Colorado State Capitol to recognize the importance of agriculture. The celebration marked the third annual Colorado Farm to Fork Culinary Competition. By “Defining Colorado Cuisine,” Colorado chefs unveiled and spotlighted the incredible use of locally produced fare. In groups of three, Colorado chefs, farmers/ranchers and legislators presented “local” meals that were judged by an esteemed panel of experts. Thanks to the ACFCCA, the dishes, featuring locally grown and raised products, were served to the guests including legislators, legislative staff and volunteers.
“For the third year in a row, the ACF Colorado Chefs Association is honored to collaborate with the state’s agriculture community to raise awareness of the importance and use of local products,” said ACFCCA executive director Joan Brewster. “The fresh ingredients that Colorado farmers and ranchers provide have become a key component for many Colorado and national chefs and restaurants. Colorado chefs enjoy partnering with local growers and ranchers to offer quality food to customers and improve the state’s economy at the same time.”
Many Americans are unaware of the fact that agriculture is America’s number one export. Farm and ranch families support more than 170,000 jobs, they supply new developments in technology and provide higher quality food at a lower cost to the consumer. Colorado Agriculture Day recognizes how agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear.
"Colorado’s agriculture industry is an ally to those in need and a significant contributor to our state’s economy,” said Commissioner Salazar. "Colorado’s diverse agriculture and food industry contributes greatly to our way of life by providing affordable, safe and abundant food and fiber while protecting our natural resources. Today and every day, I am proud to celebrate the vital role agriculture plays in our lives and in our economy.”
In addition to educating Coloradans about the importance of agriculture and buying local, the Colorado Agriculture Council’s mission is to give back to the community. “The Colorado Agriculture Council and their partners work hard every day to make sure Colorado agriculture makes a difference in the lives of those in need,” said David Collie, event chair of the Colorado Agriculture Council. “In Colorado, 1 in 7 people struggle to put food on the table and nearly half of those affected are children. We are dedicated to changing these statistics so that everyone has access to healthy food.”
The Council and other friends of agriculture presented an in-kind and financial donation of $973,000 to Feeding Colorado, an association of five Feeding America food banks in Colorado. Members of the agriculture community made this donation of nearly $1 million over the last year and in celebration and support of Ag Day. The in-kind and financial donations have and will continue to provide hundreds of thousands of meals to those in need.
“On behalf of Feeding Colorado, we are grateful for the generosity of the Colorado Agriculture Council and their continued support over the years,” said Kevin Seggelke, president and CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies, the largest of five Feeding America member food banks that make up Feeding Colorado. “Feeding Colorado is dedicated to nourishing communities throughout Colorado by distributing food through our direct service programs and partner agencies. Far too many Coloradans struggle to put food on their tables and today’s donation will make a big difference for them.”
About the American Culinary Federation-Colorado:
The American Culinary Federation-Colorado, established in 1954, is a professional organization for culinarians in Colorado. With more than 1200 members, consisting of both Colorado chefs and national ACF members, ACF-Colorado is a culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and certification. For more information, visit www.acfcoloradochefs.org.
Members of the Colorado Agriculture Council include:
Colorado Apple Administrative Committee, Colorado Aquaculture Association, Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, Colorado Association of Wheat Growers, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado CattleWomen, Inc., Colorado Cooperative Council, Colorado Corn Growers Association, Colorado Dairy Farmers PAT/PAC, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Egg Producers Association, Colorado Elk Breeders Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Foundation for Agriculture, Colorado Future Farmers of America Association, Colorado Horse Council, Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado Onion Association, Colorado Pork Producers Council, Colorado Potato Administrative Committee – Area II, Colorado Potato Administrative Committee – Area III, Colorado State Grange, Colorado State University, Colorado Sugarbeet Growers, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, Colorado Weed Management Association, Colorado Wool Growers Association, Green Industries of Colorado, Rocky Ford Growers Association, Rocky Mountain Agribusiness Association, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Rocky Mountain Food Industry Association.
Governor Hickenlooper celebrates Colorado Agriculture Day at the Capitol with Senator Gail Schwartz. Senator Schwartz partnered with the Colorado Pork Producers and Chef Rhett Montague to create this year’s first place Farm to Fork dish.
Colorado Legislators enjoy Colorado cuisine at this year’s Colorado Agriculture Day celebration.
2014 Farm to Fork Culinary Competition Winners:
Best All Around - Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Team (Senator Mary Hodge, Chef Klaus Krebs, Ben Rainbolt with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union - featuring Colorado bison)
First Place - Colorado Pork Producers Team (Senator Gail Schwartz, Chef Rhett Montague, Lauren Deever, Colorado Pork Producers)
Second Place - Western Dairy Association (Representative Jerry Sonnenberg, Chef Peter Dolan, Bill Keeting, Western Dairy Association)
Third Place - Colorado Lamb Council (Representative Ed Vigil, Chef Michael Long, Bonnie Brown, Colorado Lamb Council)