Photos courtesy of Dave Anderson at InSync Photography + Design. View all event photos here.
DENVER—Jan. 5, The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and National Western Stock Show (NWSS) reunited to kick off the return of the Stock Show at the 30th Boots ‘n Business luncheon, presented by U.S. Bank. With a sellout crowd of nearly 1,400 members of the business community gathering for Boots ‘n Business, this annual event honors the economic impact of agriculture and business in Colorado, and this year’s event looked at the future of this important industry.
This year, the Denver Metro Chamber was joined by Denver Mayor Mike Johnston; the Denver Metro Chamber’s president and CEO, J. J. Ament; and the NWSS president and CEO, Paul Andrews, in highlighting the impact of agriculture on Colorado’s economy.
“This Boots ‘n Business is also a special one, because while we’re honoring the heritage and history of agriculture, we’re also celebrating the innovations and future of this crucial industry,” said Ament. “As Colorado evolves, so does its agriculture, and today’s students will soon be the leaders and changemakers that are making sure Coloradans have access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food that is grown in an innovative, sustainable way.”
Both Ament and Andrews talked about the importance of the agriculture industry to Colorado’s economy. With nearly 40,000 farms and ranches spanning across 32 million acres of Colorado, the state is one of the top agricultural states in the nation. The industry employs more than 195,000 people and contributes $47 billion to Colorado’s economy.
Andrews also dove into the economic impact of the NWSS, stating that this year the Stock Show has visitors from all 50 states. The Stock Show is also predicted to have an economic impact of $171 million for Colorado, generating an incredible amount of commerce for Colorado residents and the agriculture industry.
Mayor of the City and County of Denver, Mike Johnston, was also able to join the business community for the event. His remarks addressed his administration’s homelessness initiative, which succeeded in housing more than 1,100 people before the end of 2023. “The reason why that matters,” Johnston said, “is when those 40,000 people came down [to see the NWSS Parade]… they did not see a single tent or encampment anywhere in downtown Denver.” He stressed that this encourages visitors to return to downtown Denver, bringing friends and family and spurring further economic growth.
While Boots ‘n Business recognizes the importance of agriculture in Colorado, it also provides a pathway for Colorado youth to pursue their education in agriculture, rural medicine and veterinary science. A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the National Western Scholarship Trust. Since its inception in 1983, the Trust has awarded thousands of scholarships, funding the future of Colorado’s agriculture industry.
The 2024 Boots ‘n Business event was presented by U.S. Bank, alongside Entertainment Sponsor Hensel Phelps, Innovations in Agriculture Sponsor Molson Coors Brewing Company, Networking Reception Sponsor Sherman & Howard and After Party Sponsor Cigna Healthcare.
About the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
For 157 years, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce has been a leading voice for Colorado’s business community. With a membership that spans the state, the Chamber is an effective advocate for small and large businesses. The Chamber’s family of organizations includes the Metro Denver EDC, the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, B:CIVIC and the Colorado Competitive Council. For more information, go to denverchamber.org.