Thursday, October 10
Tour 6. Farming on the Great Plains
Thursday, October 10
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


  • Chris Clayton (Tour Leader) Ag Policy Editor, DTN/The Progressive Farmer
  • Esther Honig (Tour Leader) Reporter, KUNC
  • Collin Cannon (Speaker) Immigrant & Refugee Center of Northern Colorado
  • Armando Elenes (Speaker) Secretary Treasurer, United Farm Workers of America
  • Frank Garry (Speaker) Professor of Clinical Sciences, Veterinarian and Livestock Health Extension Specialist, Colorado State University
  • Paul Schlagel (Speaker) Owner, Schlagel Farms
  • Jon Slutsky (Speaker) Owner, La Luna Dairy


(8:00 a.m. departure, $45 fee, lunch included)

This tour is full. If you wish to be put on the waiting list, contact Kevin Beaty.

The Colorado Front Range was once known as “The Great American Desert,” but railroads and irrigation altered the landscape. Sugar beets, beef cattle and dairy products are three of the mainstays in northern Colorado farms as advancements in technology have drastically altered how each of them is produced. We’ll start the day visiting a sugar beet farm at harvest and end at a family dairy operation that has grown to more than 1,500 cows. Over lunch in Greeley we’ll hear from the workers who labor in these industries and see firsthand how communities of immigrants and refugees are reviving the surrounding rural economies. After lunch we’ll visit the Five Rivers Cattle Co., considered the world’s largest cattle-feeding company, which runs a 98,000-capacity operation just outside Kersey. Feedlots are often criticized for air and water quality problems from having so many livestock concentrated together. However, the cattle industry is increasingly focused on its environmental footprint and argues that improvements have led to a smaller environmental impact. Total drive time: 4 hours. A good option for those with limited mobility.

Advance registration is required for all Thursday tours. Attendance on each tour is strictly limited, so registering early is important. All Thursday tours will return to the Lory Student Center at about 5:00 p.m.

IMPORTANT DEPARTURE INFORMATION: Please meet your tour leaders near the SEJ registration desk on the third floor of the Lory Student Center at the listed departure time to check-in for your tour. Eat breakfast at your hotel before arrival or plan to purchase breakfast at the Lory Student Center food court, which opens at 7:00 a.m.; coffee and snacks will be provided for tours that depart before the food court opens. Each tour will leave the ballroom as a group to board buses at a nearby location. Do not be late.

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