Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference: Celebrating 40 years of agriculture education in the San Luis Valley

image of field of crops
The Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference will be held Feb. 1-3, 2022 in Monte Vista, Colo.

Guest Author: Larry Brown

Farming and ranching in the 21st century can be complicated, expensive and risky. In the San Luis Valley, farmers and ranchers drive much of the local economy despite these challenges. Recent Colorado Department of Agriculture statistics show the value of crops and livestock produced in the San Luis Valley at $370 million annually and USDA statistics show SLV ag production up to $435 million in good years.

But good years don’t come easy. Farmers and ranchers are constantly studying and learning throughout the year, striving to expand their knowledge and improve their practices. The Southern Rocky Mountain Agriculture Conference is one of the key places producers go for continuing education.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Ag Conference is scheduled for February 1-3, 2022 at the new Ski Hi Regional Event Center in Monte Vista.

Combining the best of Extension educational programs

The Southern Rocky Mountain Agriculture Conference was born from CSU Extension’s Potato and Grain School, founded by Extension Agronomy Agent Merlin Dillon in the early 1980s and held annually in February. A few years later, SLV Extension Livestock Agent Larry Brown started an annual Livestock Producer’s Seminar, held in early December. In the late 1990s, these two Extension educational events combined to become the Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference. Since then, the conference has grown exponentially. The last full conference in February 2020 had about one hundred vendors and three hundred producers attending the educational program.

Practical education for producers

The Ag Conference provides the latest local and regional research information available for producers to not only improve their operations but to become more successful. The agenda includes educational programs on a breadth of topics including crop and livestock care, grazing best practices, ag law and economics, family farm succession and estate planning, drought resiliency and groundwater management, soil health and more.

Learn more and register today

The Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference provides information for sustainable and profitable production and management strategies for potato growers, small grain, forage growers and livestock producers in the San Luis Valley. Register for the upcoming conference online.

Questions? Call Larry Brown, Director of the SLV Area CSU Extension Office, at 719-852-7381.

About CSU Extension

CSU Extension empowers Coloradans to address important and emerging community needs using dynamic, science-based educational resources. For over 100 years, CSU Extension has helped people in Colorado find the answers they need for a healthy home life, successful business and thriving community. We bring the University’s research-based resources to local communities across the state. Learn more at