"The real arsenal of Democracy is fertile soil, the fresh produce of which is the birthright of nations." -Sir Albert Howard
The San Luis Valley Local Food Coalition, Valley Roots Food Hub, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Colorado Tourism Office and Guidestone Colorado are offering these opportunities to aspiring farmers and ranchers or current producers who are exploring the possibility of starting or expanding an agricultural business.
If you are a rancher or farmer looking to get into wholesale markets, or just want to network and scheme, come to the Valley Roots Food Hub to meet others of like mind to discuss the brass tacks of local food production and distribution.
Registration is required:
Mosca Farmer Workshops Registration Link
For Immediate Release
February 15, 2017
Valley Roots Food Hub/
San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
Mosca, CO – The Valley Roots Food Hub is co-hosting two workshops in April for beginning and expanding farmers and ranchers in partnership with the Colorado Tourism Office, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and Guidestone Colorado. The workshops will take place at the Valley Roots Food Hub in Mosca, CO on April 8th and 9th. Pre-registration for both workshops is required at www.GuidestoneColorado.org.
“This exciting initiative is not only an investment in the next generation of farmers and ranchers but in the future of our State’s agricultural and agritourism economy too,” said Elizabeth O’Rear, Manager of CTO's Heritage & Agritourism Program. “The Colorado Tourism Office is proud to partner with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Guidestone Colorado and the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative to build on the success of existing programs in the State by increasing resources and enhancing opportunities to help Colorado’s newest producers expand their work and more quickly achieve success.”
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), these workshops aim to support and enhance the success of the next generation of farmers and ranchers in southern Colorado. This three-year initiative will develop a coordinated education and mentorship program to help train early farmers and prepare them to enter emerging wholesale and agritourism markets.
"Guidestone is excited to work collaboratively with partners to support aspiring producers in creating their vision and a plan of support for launching their agricultural businesses," said Jennifer Visitacion, Executive Director at Guidestone.
The project entails three main integrated activities: 1) Visioning courses to help plan the future for these new businesses (held on April 8th) and ongoing coaching provided by Guidestone; 2) business scaling workshops orchestrated by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center (held on April 9th) in concert with the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative; and 3) expansion of a mentorship program for beginning producers.
"Beginning producers in rural and remote areas often have limited marketing options available to them,” said Dan Hobbs, Cooperative Specialist at the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “That’s why this multi-year cooperative project is so important, to facilitate new choices, opportunities and resources for family farmers throughout southern Colorado."
About the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s most recent Ag Census data, the number of young people entering farming continues to decline, but the number of new farmers and ranchers over the age of 35 rises, as does the number of smaller farms and ranches nationwide. Ensuring there will be a “new generation” of beginning farmers and ranchers—regardless of age or production choice—is especially important to the continuation of agricultural production in the United States. For more information visit https://nifa.usda.gov/program/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp