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The Country Life: This spud’s for you – a look at Colorado’s potato history

Baked. Fried. Mashed. How have you been enjoying your potatoes? Each month, the Colorado Department of Agriculture highlights a product in the state, and it chose February to be Potato Lover’s Month. Colorado produces more than 2 billion pounds of potatoes every year – making it the fifth largest producer in the nation – and more than 70 varieties. The San Luis Valley is the state’s primary producer, but the potato was a major crop in the Pikes Peak region more than a century ago. The El Paso County Fair in Calhan began in 1905 as a potato bake, held to celebrate a bumper crop. The 1906 fair was billed by Calhan News as a “Potato Bake and Agricultural Display.” Within a decade, pinto beans had toppled potatoes as the chief crop. More

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