Conference Jan. 30 in Byers to focus on agritourism

— From spending a week working cattle on a ranch to getting lost in a corn maze, agritourism activities are popping up across the state. According to a 2006 survey by CSU, 13.2 million visitors experienced agritourism in Colorado, with a total economic impact of $2.2 billion.

To help farmers and ranchers learn more about agritourism, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University are sponsoring a workshop Jan. 30 in Byers.

"This workshop is an opportunity for producers to learn about agritourism and see if it is a viable concept for their operation," said Wendy White, marketing specialist at CDA.

The full-day workshop is at May Farms in Byers, 30 minutes east of Denver. To view the workshop agenda, visit www.coloradoagritourism.com.

The registration fee is $30 per person or $45 per couple, and includes lunch and a resource notebook. The registration deadline is Jan. 23.

For more information or to register, call Wendy White at 303-239-4119 or e-mail Wendy.White@ag.state.co.us.

4-H/FFA Roundup concludes Sunday

DENVER - Six hundred youths are competing in Denver this week in 15 national contests at the Western National Roundup, which ends Sunday.

The conference, now in its 89th year, is held annually in early January, coinciding with the National Western Stock Show. Thirty states along with Alberta, Canada, are represented this year.

4-H and FFA members between ages 14 and 19 qualify for the conference by winning their home state's contest or being chosen as a state delegate. The competitions include horse and livestock judging, hippology, horse demonstrations, public speaking and parliamentary procedure, as well as many others.

Workshops offered throughout the week provide a learning experience for the youth exposing them to topics ranging from GPS training to leadership development.

For more information about Western National Roundup, visit www.westernnationalroundup.org/.

State lifts quarantine at Little Creek Ranch

The Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Agriculture have lifted quarantine orders for Little Creek Ranch, a commercial hunting ranch near Collbran.

The agencies issued joint quarantines for the property Nov. 26, after a load of wild hogs and exotic sheep were seized attempting to enter the ranch in violation of state law and without required paperwork.

Horse being tested for equine disease

A Colorado mare has been identified as having been in contact with a stallion infected with contagious equine metritis. A hold order has been placed on the premises until tests results have returned.

"Colorado is now among 27 other states tracing horses and testing for this disease," stated Dr. Keith Roehr, Colorado Department of Agriculture's state veterinarian, in a news release.

The disease, which does not affect humans, is a highly contagious venereal disease, which can result in temporary infertility, according to the news release. The disease can be transmitted by live cover or artificial insemination and can be treated with antibiotics.

To prevent the spread of CEM, a foreign animal disease, breeders need to be cautious when shipping a horse out of state for breeding purposes and pay attention to bio-security measure. Before this outbreak, which was discovered in Kentucky in late December, the United States was recognized as a CEM-free country.

For updates about the nationwide investigation, visit www.aphis.usda.gov

Cattlemen's group Recruiting for the Cure

The Colorado Cattlemen's Association is partnering with eight affiliated businesses to increase membership and give back to the Colorado community by donating $80 to breast cancer research for each new member recruited through January.

A CCA member who recruits a new member will receive a special pink-ribbon CCA lapel pin showing that they are "Recruiting for the Cure."

Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation's oldest state cattlemen's association.

Carbon Credits signup deadline Jan. 30

The deadline for enrollment in the current Rangeland Carbon Credit pool is Jan. 30, according to AgraGate Climate Credits Corp.

Qualifying ranchers who enroll by this date also may be eligible to earn retroactive credits as far back as 2003. Retroactive credits will not be allowed after this deadline.

Rangeland in 11 states is eligible, including Colorado and Wyoming.

"The emerging carbon credits market is a new revenue opportunity for ranchers who commit to sustainable rangeland management practices," says Lowell Mesman, AgraGate rangeland specialist.

To qualify for retroactive carbon credits, ranchers must have had a rangeland management plan and be able to provide historical turn-in/turn-in and stocking rate records for those years. Ranchers who do not have a rangeland management plan can create one now and earn carbon credits for the 2008 vintage.

To find out more about the carbon credit market, call AgraGate toll-free at 866-633-6758, or visit www.agragate.com.

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