Bruce Talbott, co-owner/operator of Talbott’s Mountain Gold, a Palisade orchard producing peaches and wine grapes, has been elected president of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers (CFVGA) Board of Directors. The vacancy arose when long-time president, Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, was appointed to the Colorado Water Conservation Board and stepped down as CFVGA president. Talbott has been a member of the CFVGA Board since the first slate of board members was seated in February 2015 and served a term as secretary.
“I am honored by my fellow board members to be elected to this position,” said Talbott. “We have a great foundation as an organization that is relatively young. I hope we can build on this foundation, and successfully represent the interests and concerns of the Colorado produce industry. I don’t believe there has been a time in Colorado history when agricultural producers have been under the level of political siege currently experienced. The urban/suburban consumer and voters have very little understanding of the extent of the agricultural infrastructure and what it takes to successfully and sustainably produce fruit and vegetables in Colorado, whether conventional or organic. Our ability to survive and thrive is linked to our success in communicating and winning the public’s understanding and support for the tools we need to continue operating in Colorado and to minimize unnecessary rules, regulations and requirements. CFVGA also provides an opportunity for the produce industry to get together for educational, commercial and fraternal opportunities that would not occur in the absence of this organization.”
Talbott’s Mountain Gold includes about 550 acres of owned and leased farm ground. It packs its own peaches as well as packing fruit for other producers in the area. Talbott’s Mountain Gold processes fresh apple cider which is sold under both its own label and other private labels. Bulk juice is supplied for repackaging or fermenting and used in its own hard cider business.
Talbott’s fruit production is conventional with mostly sprinkler irrigation along with some drip and furrow irrigation. The Palisade Peaches on the operation are known for their sweetness by Coloradoans and also are marketed through wholesale channels to the upper Midwest. Wine grapes not processed by Talbott’s support the Colorado Craft Wine industry and are sold to 25-30 different wineries.
During his time on the CFVGA Board, Talbott served two terms on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee and two terms on American Farm Bureau’s Labor Committee. He also was president of Mesa County Farm Bureau and continues to serve on the board of Child and Migrant Services in Palisade.
“Bruce is highly respected throughout the CFVGA membership and has provided crucial direction to CFVGA since its inception,” said CFVGA Founding Board Member Adrian Card. “We are appreciative of his willingness to serve and to continue to grow this organization.”
The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.