AGRICULTURE IN SOUTHEAST COLORADO: SUPPLYING THE NATION WITH BEEF, WHEAT & MELONS
With an extended growing season, Southeast Colorado has long been one of the state’s most productive agricultural regions. The Winter Livestock Auction and the La Junta Livestock Commission make up the second largest cattle market in the country. The nearly 3,000 farms in the area produce a large portion of the nation’s wheat, as well as sizeable crops of melons, peppers and onions.
Each year, Colorado farms generate more than $7 billion in revenue. Agriculture is big business, and Southeastern Colorado farmers and ranchers constantly explore new technology and research developments in pursuit of higher yields.
In addition to more than 5.2 million acres of farm and ranch land, agriculture-related industry also has a strong presence in the six-county region. This includes seed oil extraction, livestock feed production, and even fabrication of construction materials from crop by-products.
Agritourism in Colorado is an industry that shows great potential. Southeastern Colorado has the necessary components to financially benefit and grow through agritourism. With the plethora of farmers markets, the small town values and the beauty of the region, tourists can take a step back in time and enjoy the relaxing lifestyle that is thriving in our region. In and around Holly, Granada, and Rocky Ford, visitors can stay in an old bunkhouse, watch the mating rituals of the lesser prairie chickens, inspect the remains of Dust Bowl sites, help with ranch work and eat “heritage dinners,” in a true farm to table setting.