Made in Greeley. Appreciated Worldwide.
“Greeley,” says Greeley assistant city manager Becky Safarik, “is a city of makers.” There’s the son of a local cattle rancher who developed a way to detect ovulation in cows earlier so that fertilization was more accurate – and is now using the method to help families trying to conceive. There’s the biology professor whose work mapping the prairie rattlesnake genome is enabling scientists to develop better anti-venoms. There’s the hat maker whose handiwork is worn by none other than President George W. Bush. It’s arts and crafts and patents and technologies and a factory that produces 20,000 handmade tortillas every day of the week – and the local support that such ventures require.
It probably has something to do with Greeley’s agricultural roots, says Safarik, and the resilience that goes along with being vulnerable. “What could be more vulnerable than farming?” she asks. “One day and one bad storm and you lose everything.” In other words, there’s a barn-raising piece to it as well; relying on one another when times get tough. “If you want to make a difference, there are a lot of ways you can do that in Greeley,” says Safarik, “whether it’s expressing yourself creatively, starting a business, building a structure, or raising money for cancer treatments and cures. It’s a welcoming environment here.”
Imagination and Ingenuity Defined.
When a 100-year-old walnut tree on the grounds of the Meeker Home Museum needed to be taken down, the city forester asked Jim Emmett, owner of Greeley’s Magnolia River Manufacturing, if he could put it to use. Jim knew just what to do. He hauled it away and used the lumber to build a custom bar surround for Meeker’s Colorado Kitchen in the new DoubleTree by Hilton. The irony, of course, is that one of the seven principles on which Greeley was founded – by Nathan Meeker – was temperance. And the town, like others in Northern Colorado, remained dry until 1969.
“What can I say?” asks Safarik. “We’re a resourceful community.”