In this episode, we talk about agriculture and cooperatives. Agriculture, homesteading and the rural lifestyle was at one time the economic backbone of the state and is in many ways the key heritage of the state. Colorado agriculture generates more than $41B in economic activity and employs more than 173k people in the state. Production agriculture and processing account for a majority of Colorado’s agricultural activity. Colorado is a net exporter of agricultural products.
Most of this activity happens outside of the Front Range in rural communities, beyond the reach of urban services and consumers. Much of Colorado agriculture has organized itself within the cooperative spirit, opting for self-help and mutual aid. Yet, much of this land, the businesses that rely on it and the communities that support it are in transition. It is estimated that the average age of farmers in the USA is more than 58 years old. Millions of acres of farmland will undergo ownership transitions in the next 2 decades. This raises important questions about food security and about the continued vitality of our rural communities. We talk to Jason Brancel, CEO and President of Agfinity, Inc, and Brian Scott, co-founder of 63rd Street Farm. Our guests represent contrasting poles in terms of scale, maturity, and approach to agriculture.
Listen to the entire show here:
The Co-op Power Hour is a monthly production of the Colorado Co-operative Study Circle. It airs on the fourth Thursday of every month at 6pm on It’s the Economy.