|Even brighter future ahead for Colorado ag at new National Western Center campus
DENVER – On National Agriculture Day, Mayor Michael B. Hancock and partners at the National Western Center project celebrate the agricultural community and the critical role it plays in our city and state’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Agriculture, including our livestock and meat industries, has always been a part of our city and an essential partner in sustaining our way of life here in Denver, and we cannot transition in this moment from rescue to recovery without investing in our agricultural sector,” Mayor Hancock said. “National Ag Day lets us spotlight the important role it plays in our everyday lives, as well as recognize that our economic recovery is dependent on thriving rural and urban businesses and workers.”
The National Ag Day program encourages every American to understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced while understanding the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
With historically significant industry groups like the Colorado Cattleman’s Association (CCA) and the Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado’s agriculture sector, including its livestock industry, are is healthy and thriving.
The Future National Western Center
The National Western Center represents a nearly $1 billion public investment in the future of agriculture in the region. The redevelopment will further Colorado’s prosperity by becoming a global destination for food and ag innovation, Western heritage and culture.
“The National Western Center presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to honor and celebrate the spirit of the West, while also promoting research and progress in agriculture for the next 100 years,” National Western Center CEO Brad Buchanan said. “The center will make possible the connections our communities need today by connecting consumers to where our food comes from, connecting people from urban and rural places to one another, connecting people to the land, the water and the earth, and connecting Colorado to the rest of the nation and the world.”
The new center will not only keep the century-long Stock Show tradition alive in new and modern facilities, but will be active every day of the year, including through educational programming open to everyone at Colorado State University System’s Spur campus focused on food, water and health. Construction on the National Western Center began in 2018. While the majority of the center will be complete in 2024, the first public-facing elements of the future center will debut at the January 2022 National Western Stock Show:
· CSU Spur. At least one building at CSU Spur will be active and open to the public.
· New stockyards. With plazas for gathering, and opportunities for year-round activation.
· The new Stockyards Event Center. Site of auctions and other Stock Show events.
“The NWSS is and will continue to be the undisputed leader in agriculture in Denver, the state and the region for the next 100 years. The NWSS is a leader in best practices of the industry as we support our producers, farmers, ranchers and the ag community across our great state and nation,” National Western Stock Show President & CEO, Paul Andrews said. “We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to the grounds for the 2022 Stock Show in January.
The CSU Spur campus broke ground in 2020 and will open its first building during the 2022 Stock Show. Spur will feature immersive learning experiences, cutting-edge research programs, university-industry collaboration, and entertainment, retail, art, and dining.
“The CSU System is deeply connected with Colorado’s agricultural and livestock industries, as cornerstones of our state ‘s economy and quality of life,” CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said. “Agriculture is also how we feed the planet, which is why CSU is creating a new type of learning environment at Spur designed to help people understand where our food comes from — and the critical connections between food, water, health, and the environment.”
The CCA is the first of what is expected to be many agricultural-focused organizations that will office on the campus. “The CCA has been committed to beef producers and the entire state of Colorado for over 150 years and has renewed that commitment through our relocation to the Livestock Exchange Building, within the National Western Center campus,” said Terry Fankhauser, CCA Executive Vice President. “We believe the National Western Center offers unparalleled educational and business development opportunities by strengthening agriculture and urban convergence.”
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