How many Rocky Ford Cantaloupes can you eat? Saturday at the Arkansas Valley Fair we found out Crowley County Commissioner Gary Gibson could eat the most Rocky Ford Cantaloupes in one sitting! Other participants in the event included Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar (who came in second), Senator Kevin Grantham, Otero County Commissioner Keith Goodwin, Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Growers Association Chairman and local grower Michael Hirakata and Otero County Health Department Director Rick Ritter. The event was coordinated by the Colorado State University Extension.
This is the 135th anniversary of The Arkansas Valley Fair and it is the oldest continuous fair in the state. Saturday was also designated Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Day in a proclamation signed by Governor John Hickenlooper. The Arkansas Valley Fair had a number of other great events including the annual Open Watermelon Pile giveaway, and watermelon spitting contest which was won by Rocky Ford resident Robert Rodriguez who spit his seed 36 feet, 10 inches! Commissioner Salazar participated and spit a seed 23 feet 10 inches. The record for the longest seed-spit is 43 feet, 6 inches!
Members of the Rocky Ford Growers Association (RFGA) were also in attendance. Pictures of the event are included in this email. Representative Cory Gardner had special T-shirts made up for the event.
Rocky Ford Cantaloupes have a spotless safety record for the past 125 years. Consumers will know that these melons are the authentic Rocky Ford Cantaloupes by the RFGA stickers on the cantaloupes. Only 30 percent of the fields have been planted this year, so the amount of Rocky Ford Cantaloupes will be limited but the melons will be available through the middle of September.
More information about Rocky Ford Cantaloupes is also on the RFGA Facebook and Pinterest pages. All the latest RFGA news will also be on Twitter.
About Rocky Ford Growers Association
The Rocky Ford Growers Association was formed in 2011, by the growers of Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, to strengthen and protect the reputation and the 125-year perfect safety record of the world famous melons. Rocky Ford Cantaloupe has officially been trademarked. To label melons as Rocky Ford Cantaloupe a grower must be a member of this association and produce melons within the growing region. This growing region has now been defined as Otero County and Crowley County South of the Colorado Canal.