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Ute Farm and Ranch manager appointed to state agriculture board

Simon Martinez brings experience of operating Bow & Arrow corn mill; represents Southwest Colorado
Simon Martinez, general manager of the Ute Mountain Ute Bow & Arrow Brand and Farm & Ranch Enterprises, walks past bags of ground corn to be shipped out of the tribe's corn meal mill. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)
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Ute Mountain Tribe Farm and Ranch General Manager Simon Martinez has been appointed by the governor to serve on the Colorado Agriculture Commission District 4.

Martinez manages a 7,700-acre farm and ranch on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation in Southwest Colorado that includes the Bow & Arrow Brand corn mill and a 650 cow/calf operation.

The farm grows high-grade alfalfa, and several varieties of non-GMO corn. It is irrigated by 110 center-pivot sprinklers.

The corn is milled on-site, packaged, and sold to large and small food distributors.

“I’m looking forward to representing the southwest corner of the state and to be a voice for tribal communities,” Martinez said in a phone interview. He will serve a two-year term.

Simon Martinez, general manager of Ute Mountain Farm and Ranch, was appointed to the Colorado Agricultural Commission. (Courtesy photo)

Martinez said the tribe’s experience operating the mill and marketing its products offer valuable lessons for the agricultural community statewide.

“We created jobs and a value-added product that is grown and produced locally,” he said. “We have learned a lot about the production process, and the marketing, in order to be successful.”

The Bow & Arrow Brand corn mill was launched in 2014 and produces products that are non-GMO verified, gluten free and kosher certified. The mill has a staff of 13 who are mostly tribal members.

Martinez also serves as the vice president of the Dolores Water Conservancy District, which manages McPhee Reservoir and the Dolores Project.

He was recommended to serve on the board by Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg.

The Colorado Agricultural Commission is a group of nine agricultural leaders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

The members are Martinez (R), Segundo Diaz (R), Roberto Meza (D), David Blach (D), Nick Trainor (unaffiliated), Colleen Peppler (D), George Whitten (D), Kathryn Bedell (D) and Brant Harrison (R).

They are responsible for making recommendations to the agriculture commissioner, the governor and the General Assembly regarding agricultural issues within the state.

The commission assists with the development of policies, rules and regulations related to agriculture. It reviews all rules and regulations prior to adoption by the commissioner, develops general policy for managing the agriculture department, and approves and monitors the agriculture department's budget.

Milling machines at the Ute Mountain Ute Bow & Arrow Brand corn meal mill near Towaoc. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The Colorado Agricultural Commission meetings are open to the public and are available via Zoom. For more information visit the Colorado Department of Agriculture website.

Martinez and his wife live in Dolores. They have five children and eight grandchildren.