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Colorado Proud celebrates this state's produce and products in August

August 1 is Colorado Day, and that's when Colorado Proud will launch its second annual Choose Colorado Tour, a 27-day road trip across Colorado's agricultural landscape. The event kicks off with a farmers' market celebrating the start of Colorado Proud Month and showcasing fresh produce and ag products at 10 a.m. Friday, August 1, at History Colorado, where admission will be free both Friday and Saturday. See also: History Colorado's menu collection unearths a taste of the culinary past

The Colorado Department of Agriculture started the Colorado Proud program in 1999 to push products grown and produced in this state; the initial roster of 65 Colorado companies has grown to more than 2,000 today.

"Agriculture is a vital part of Colorado's history, and we are grateful for the History Colorado Center's educational exhibits, which share the stories and spirit of our state - especially the stories of agriculture, as told through our farmers and producers," says Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar.

The Choose Colorado tour will end on August 27 with a Colorado Proud Commemorative Lunch prepared by chef Jason Morse for government officials, using ingredients that the Colorado Proud team and Salazar will collect from each stop on the 27-day tour, everything from peaches and sweet corn to lamb and potatoes.

But even if you're not invited to the private lunch, you'll find plenty of food for thought at History Colorado, where Food: Our Global Kitchen, which opened at the end of May, will remain up through the month. It's "an ambitious feast of a show, with offerings for every taste, even the most exotic," according to the New York Times.

"History Colorado has received tremendous accolades for its traveling exhibit Food: Our Global Kitchen, for its open and deep exploration of the intricate system that brings our food in Colorado and this nation from farm to fork," says History Colorado CEO Ed Nichols. "The exhibit has done a great job of featuring the intersection of food, nature, culture and history -- some of the most challenging issues our state faces."

But on August 1, the biggest challenge will be choosing between all the Colorado products and produce on display. And yes, in honor of Colorado Day, there will be birthday cake. Made in Colorado, of course.

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