city, seat (1874) of Weld county, northern Colorado, U.S., 50 miles (80 km) north-northeast of Denver, at an elevation of 4,665 feet (1,422 metres). It was founded in 1870 as Union Colony, a cooperative agricultural enterprise organized by Nathan Meeker, agricultural editor of the New York Tribune, with the support of journalist and sometime politician Horace Greeley. An agricultural-based economy prevails, with food processing and canning as the principal industries. Cattle feeding is important and there are large terminal stockyards. The surrounding area is extensively irrigated from the Cache la Poudre and South Platte rivers and the Colorado-Big Thompson water-diversion project. Oil, gas, and coal are worked in the vicinity. Greeley is the seat of the University of Northern Colorado (1889) and Aims Community College (1967). Ft. Vasquez (a reconstructed fur-trading post, 1837) and Rocky Mountain National Park are nearby. The Greeley Independence Stampede, a rodeo festival held in June and July, attracts visitors and competitors from throughout the West. Inc. city, 1886. Pop. (1990) city, 60,536; Greeley PMSA, 131,821; Denver-Boulder-Greeley CMSA 1,980,140; (2000) city, 76,930; Greeley PMSA 180,936; Denver-Boulder-Greeley CMSA 2,581,506.
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