Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce
For 40 years, Bill Markham has been supplying Coors “Banquet” beer with the finest Rocky Mountain barley. He never imagined it would land him in a nationally-televised commercial.
The Barley Connection
Markham, his son, Brett, and his dog, Bear, are all featured in one of the new Coors “Banquet” spots that he himself debuted during the 2009 Miller-Coors Distributor Convention.
“It was really an honor that my family was asked to do this,” said Markham, the picture of a Rocky Mountain farmer, complete with cowboy hat and Western attire.
He was approached by the Coors “Banquet” brand team about six months ago to record a radio commercial with actor Sam Elliot, acknowledging his family’s work as Rocky Mountain barley growers for more than 40 years.
The radio commercial took off — and a national television ad was next on the docket.
To shoot the spot, Bill invited the film crew to his family farm in Berthoud, a mere 20 miles from the base of the Rocky Mountains.
“When they say Rocky Mountain barley, you don’t get much closer than ours,” he said.
The farm dates to 1957, when his father, Willard Markham, started raising barley — a job he held for 52 years. Now, Bill Markham and his son tend to the 400-acre farm; 100 percent of their barley crops are used in brewing Coors “Banquet.” He truly feels privileged to participate in the commercial.
“I owe a lot to Coors,” Markham said, who has been recognized as Environmentalist of the Year for all Coors barley growers, as well as Barley Grower of the Year in 2000.
His farm is truly an asset to the Coors company — especially since he’s done a great deal of experimental farming over the past 15 years.
“When someone comes up with a new barley program, they call us,” he said.
Markham and his family are just one of more than 800 barley growers who supply barley for the Coors family of brands. The barley farmers are spread across Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, where the high mountain valleys make for ideal barley growing.
“We’re proud to be part of the Coors “Banquet” family, and we’re thrilled that you recognized all of the Coors barley growers by paying us a visit,” Markham said.
You can watch the Coors commercial featuring Bill Markham on the Berthoud Are Chamber of Commerce Web site: www.BerthoudColorado.com
Bill Markham has been chosen by the Chamber to serve as Grand Marshall for this year’s Berthoud Day Parade, which starts at 11 a.m. The Chamber is still taking registrations for parade entries. Call for information (970) 420-4200 or visit www.BerthoudColorado.com/BerthoudDay.php.