Farm & Ranch – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:48:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2019 YEAR IN REVIEW Thu, 16 Jan 2020 22:00:45 +0000 2019 was a busy and interesting year in Pagosa Country. There was no want for good news, bad news, controversial issues, and no lack of interesting news events to keep SUN readers focused on local events, situations and personalities.
The SUN is taking a look back at some of those events, selected by SUN staff writers. This week, we look back at July, August and September.


• At a Future of Power Supply Information Series meeting held in Pagosa Springs on July 1, La Plata Electric Association representatives discussed the future of energy and a potential buyout of its existing power-supply contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Cattle Roundup Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:00:58 +0000

Photos courtesy George Hunyadi

Cowboys in Chromo gather cattle during the annual fall roundup recently.

Last chance to order seed mixes Mon, 23 Sep 2019 11:00:11 +0000 By Cynthia Purcell
Special to The SUN
The San Juan Conservation District is offering local landowners the opportunity to purchase a variety of seed mixtures specially developed to provide a ground cover that requires very little watering.
Consider these mixes for establishing vegetation around newly constructed homes or for improving pasture condition. A native grass mixture, dryland pasture mix, native wildflower mix and a wildlife mix are available. Erosion control blankets are also being offered.
Orders are being taken until Oct. 2. The seed will be available to pick up on Oct. 16.
Need an order form? Please contact the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615 or stop by our office at 505A County Road 600 (next to Piedra Automotive).
Thanks for making conservation count.

Archuleta County Fair rodeos Fri, 09 Aug 2019 17:37:58 +0000

SUN photos/Terri House

Rodeo fans were treated to multiple events at this year’s Archuleta County Fair. Spectators and participants alike enjoyed a kids’ rodeo, a ranch rodeo and Bares, Broncs, ‘n Bulls.

Archuleta County Fair Fri, 09 Aug 2019 16:31:58 +0000

PREVIEW photos

Scene … at the 68th Archuleta County Fair. The county fair, which ran from Aug. 1 to 4, paid tribute to Archuleta County’s heritage through a number of livestock and 4-H events, open-class exhibits, family-friendly fun and more.

Vesicular stomatitis confirmed in Archuleta County Thu, 08 Aug 2019 10:57:04 +0000 Local veterinarian Kitzel Farrah was busy inspecting animals for vesicular stomatitis (VSV) at last week’s Archuleta County Fair. Every trailer entering the fairgrounds was checked for the disease.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Agricultural tours announced for the 2019 San Luis Valley Potato Festival Thu, 01 Aug 2019 22:14:32 +0000 By Jessica Crowther
Special to The PREVIEW
It’s that time of year again. The 2019 Potato Festival will be Sept. 7 at Chapman Park in Monte Vista. As the date is fast approaching, we want to be sure you’re prepared to enjoy the day with us.
There is another exciting opportunity available at the Potato Festival to those who want an in-depth look at the potato industry. The annual agriculture tour will be departing from Chapman Park by bus in Monte Vista at 8 a.m. and returning at 11 a.m. Hosted by the executive director of Colorado Potatoes, Jim Ehrlich, this tour will visit the San Luis Valley Research Center and a local grower’s field. Passengers will get to talk directly with growers and researchers, and get to see firsthand how potatoes are grown in the San Luis Valley. This tour is free of charge, but spots are limited. Those interested should contact Colorado Potatoes at (719) 852-3322 or to reserve a space.
After the tour, passengers can stay for the 2019 San Luis Valley Potato Festival at Chapman Park in Monte Vista and all the other fun activities it has to offer. All day at Chapman Park, there will be a 5K race, kid’s games, the famous mashed potato dunk tank, professional chef demo, bouncy houses and a trampoline quad jumper. There will also be food and craft vendors, games for the family, live animals, an antique tractor display with homemade ice cream, a truck and semi show and much, much more.
That evening, as an added feature, there will be a motorsport aerial freestyle show featuring X-Games medalists. This will be at the Ski-Hi Park Arena and tickets can be purchased at

It’s county fair time Thu, 01 Aug 2019 21:00:03 +0000

Photo courtesy Archuleta County Fair

Today is the opening of the 68th Archuleta County Fair. If you haven’t been to the fair before, then come see what you’ve been missing. There are fun events, activities, exhibits and entertainment you don’t want to miss.
Take a walk around the exhibit hall to see the 4-H youth projects. You will see the dedication and hard work that the youth have accomplished. Read their stories to find out what they liked best and some of the struggles they may have had completing their projects. You will also see the talents of residents who enter the open classes with traditional items like homemade jams, canned and baked goods, floral arrangements, fruits and veggies, crop samples, and much more. And you can’t help but notice the beautiful quilts that line the center of the hall. There are so many stunning colors, patterns and designs, you could spend hours just wandering the walls of quilts.
Everyone can participate in activities around the fairgrounds. You can challenge your friends to a game of laser tag, or maybe tug-of-war is more your style of competition. Compete in a round of horseshoes or have some good, old-fashioned fun in the pie-eating contest.
Not into competition? Then make your way to the activity tent where you can see Wacky Science with mad scientist Dr. Barb Shaw, an aikido demonstration and the Wild Man Phil show with Stumpy the tortoise and other live animals. Take the kids to the Kid Games tent or the Petting Farm to pet bunnies and goats. If you are looking for a break from the kiddos, you can put them on the train to enjoy a jaunt around the grounds while you catch your breath from the fun. Indulge in the yummy fair food like funnel cake, waffle burgers, sopapillas, gourmet hot dogs, fajitas and snowcones. There is plenty of live music to go around with an encore performance by the High Rollers.
One of the newest events is the Bares, Broncs and Bulls. You will see rough stock riders compete for buckles, cash and fame. Enjoy a night of action-packed riding and top-notch broncs and bulls. You can also attend the Ranch Rodeo at high noon on Saturday and the Kids Rodeo at high noon on Sunday.
The 4-H livestock shows are the cornerstone events that showcase beef, sheep, goat, swine, rabbit and poultry. These shows lead up to the Livestock Auction. It’s an exciting time for not only the audience, but the youth and the buyers who reward these youth for their hard work in raising their animals. The auction is held on Saturday evening after the famous Chuckwagon Dinner, where the San Juan Conservation District will honor the very well-deserved Conservation Educator of the Year Award to JD Kurz. Congratulations, JD.
All events, activities, a full schedule and fair information can be found at So, come one, come all to the 68th Archuleta County Fair, where there is something for everyone.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.

Vesicular stomatitis cases confirmed in six Colorado counties Mon, 29 Jul 2019 11:00:55 +0000 Special to The SUN
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, La Plata, Larimer, and Weld counties in Colorado. At this time, all confirmed cases in Colorado have been in horses.
The total count of premises under quarantine, as of July 18, by county in 2019 for VSV is outlined below. CDA’s Animal Health division is updating this table regularly with the latest data on its CDA VSV website.
County Current quarantines
Adams 1
Boulder 11
Broomfield 1
La Plata 5
Larimer 18
Weld 14
Total 50
Weld County has two released quarantines as of July 18 for 2019.
The first case of VSV in Colorado was reported on July 3 in Weld County by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the CDA. An incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle, and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. The transmission process of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies and biting midges.
The incubation period ranges from two to eight days. Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, ears, teats and coronary bands. Often excessive salivation is the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and weight loss may follow.
Humans may become infected when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event. To avoid human exposure, individuals should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.
Tips for livestock owners
Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease.
Avoid transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment from other herds.
Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met.
Colorado fairs, livestock exhibitions and rodeos may institute new entry requirements based on the extent and severity of the current VS outbreak. Certificates of veterinary inspection (CVIs or health certificates) issued within two to five days prior to an event can be beneficial in reducing risks. Be sure to stay informed of any new livestock event requirements.
Important points for
Any vesicular disease of livestock is reportable to the State Veterinarian’s Office in Colorado. To report, call (303) 869-9130.

Opening Pagosa Farmers Market great success Fri, 21 Jun 2019 11:00:34 +0000

Photos courtesy Pauline Benetti
The first Pagosa Farmers Market of the season featured great weather, crowds of people, garden fresh veggies, a huge variety of potted starts, and new vendors.

By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
The first Pagosa Farmers Market of the 12th season was a huge success with great weather, crowds of people, garden fresh veggies, a huge variety of potted starts to be taken home and put out when the weather is right, two new vendors and two more coming soon.
Now, for those who could not find tomatoes, just relax. They will be here in nature’s own good time and not one moment before. This is our local growers’ greatest challenge — the short growing season.
In 2018, The Pagosa Farmers Market was the recipient of a grant from the national organization Farmers Market Coalition in the form of an EBT terminal that will accept SNAP cards, allowing the market to continue the Double Up Bucks program supported by Live Well Colorado.
Now we want all SNAP recipients to know that for the rest of the season through Sept. 21, they can double their food dollars. Every SNAP dollar spent is matched with a dollar from the Double Up Bucks program to a maximum of $20 per visit. Essentially, that means free fruits and veggies. That’s what the Double Up Buck Program promises. How can anyone turn that down? The terminal also facilitates purchases of healthy food with a debit card, thus increasing the customer count for our growers.
Here are three of the many reasons shopping at your local Pagosa Farmers Market makes sense:
1. Since local and regional products travel fewer miles, produce is allowed to ripen on the trees and in the fields, ensuring the best flavor.
2. Buying local maintains jobs, sustains family farms and ranches and contributes nearly $16 billion to the state economy annually.
3. Local farmers and ranchers are right here in your backyard. They are readily available to answer questions about their fresh products. “Know your farmer, know our food.”
If you did not make it to the first Pagosa Farmers Market, let’s see you this Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Find us at the east end of town where you will also find music, shade, tables and very likely your neighbor.
Consider this also an excellent time to renew your membership in Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS), the organization that supports the Pagosa Farmers Market, organizes our week-long celebration of Earth Day plus other activities that promote sustainability in Archuleta County.