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Governor Polis, ranchers talk importance of agriculture, meat at Colorado State Fair

Posted at 9:24 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-25 18:50:13-04

PUEBLO — It's one of the top industries in Colorado - agriculture.

There's no better place to celebrate it than the Colorado State Fair.

On Friday, during the opening day of the annual event, Governor Jared Polis spoke to people about this, specifically, addressing things about the meat industry.

It comes after some controversy as other news sources have said that the governor is urging the Department of Agriculture to support meatless products. It's after he ate the Impossible Whopper (a plant-based patty) at Burger King recently.

When News 5 asked the governor's staff if he's asked the department to go meatless they said no.

"Our farmers and ranchers are part of our past, part of our present, and part of our future," said Governor Polis as he addressed a roomful of people on Friday.

"We're excited about our farmers, our ranchers, beef cattle, ingredients that go into different kinds of burgers."

In regards to the Impossible Whopper he said, "To me, it tasted about the same as the meat whopper, costed a dollar more. So what'll get really interesting is when it costs less, when that technology improves."

He said his point is that "whatever people are choosing to eat, whatever people want to eat, that we can produce it here in Colorado and really have those opportunities for Colorado farmers and ranchers instead of them going to other places in other states and other countries."

Fourth-generation rancher Sara Shields said, "We're especially proud as beef producers of all that we provide a protein source that is so nutrient rich in a small package people take that for granted."

No matter what direction Colorado goes when it comes to meat she said, "I think our heart of hearts is to continue to represent our industry well, to remain dedicated and diligent to providing a wholesome, nutritional, and very safe product to our consumers."

Governor Polis said that Colorado has a billion dollars in beef exports and $2 billion in agriculture exports. He said the state needs to grow both domestic and international markets to continue this success.