In response to Gov. Jared Polis’ declaration of March 20 as MeatOut Day, community members have organized a Cattle Drive and Freedom Ride to show support for farmers and ranchers. Participants should meet at 9 a.m. at Ute Coffee Shop, 17 S. Broadway.
The ride will proceed down Main Street at 10 a.m., according to a March 12 news release from Sherrie Simmons, a leader of the private Facebook group called Montezuma County Patriots.
Montezuma County Commissioners have declared March 20 Cattlemen’s Day. The Southwest Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Southwestern Cowbelles and community intend to fill Main Street with support and select businesses will have special beef menus.
The Cowbelles will have a drawing for a free beef meal at participating restaurants. On March 20, anyone who orders a beef meal at Blondies, Bubbas, J. Fargos, Main Street Brewery, or Shiloh’s can enter a drawing for a $20 gift certificate for that restaurant courtesy of the Cowbelles.
Buddy the steer, who weights about 3,000 pounds, will act as mascot for the cattle drive down Main Street.
Earlier this week, the Polis administration announced that it had signed a proclamation declaring March 22 as Colorado Livestock Proud Day.
In his proclamation, he noted that “farmers and ranchers raise livestock to provide nutritious, affordable protein for families across the state, and throughout the nation, and animal proteins supply the body with essential nutrients, including sources of zinc, vitamins B12 and D, and fatty acids.”
He also stated that agriculture generates more than $40 billion in economic activity annually, and livestock production add more than $4.6 billion to the state’s economy.
The Colorado Dairy Farmers, Colorado Egg Producers, Colorado Pork Producers Council, Colorado Wool Growers Association and Rocky Mountain Farmers joined the Colorado Livestock Association in requesting that Polis declare Colorado Livestock Day. The Colorado Livestock Association posted a copy of the proclamation on March 11.