STATE & LOCAL RESOURCES
Colorado Cottage Foods Act
Cottage Foods Act Explained
In 2012, the Colorado Legislature passed the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, a bill allowing individuals to produce and sell certain types of foods using a home kitchen, thereby asking it easier for smaller producers to sell their goods. This law was updated and expanded in 2016 to include pickled fruits and vegetables as well as spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, flour, and some baked goods, including candies. In order to quality, net sales for each product cannot exceed $5,000 annually and all products must be labeled and sold directly to the consumer including your local farmers' market. In addition, a producer may now sell up to 250 dozen chicken, quail, duck or turkey eggs per month. If home businesses follow the Cottage Foods Act rules, a permit or license for your cottage food operation is not required. Visit Website »»
Cottage foods must have the following information printed in English: identification of
product; producer's name and address where the food was produced, producer's current phone number and email address; date the food was produced; complete list of ingredients; and this statement: "This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection and that may also contain common food allergens such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish and crustacean shellfish. This product is not intended for resale." The following information is required on egg cartons: The address at which the eggs originated and the packaging date. Additionally, any eggs not treated for salmonella must also include the following statement on the package: "Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook any foods containing eggs thoroughly. These eggs do not come from a government-approved source." Labeling requirements apply to poultry (see below).
Safe Food Handling Requirement
A producer must be certified in safe food handling and processing by a third-party certifying entity. In-person classes are available through the following:
CSU Extension San Luis Valley
Mary Ellen Fleming 719-852-7381, Maryellen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Alamosa Public Health Department
Lynnea Rappold 719-589-6639
online.colostate.edu/topics-of-study/agriculture & statefoodsafety.com
Meets food safety requirements for retail food service managers and for Colorado Cottage Food Act.
Certified ServSafe® Instructor: Carol Keith 719-580-1289, email@example.com
Eggs, Eggs, Eggs!
A person or company that sells eggs within Colorado must be licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) per CRS 35-21-104. This applies only to domesticated chicken eggs. If eggs are sold anywhere off the farm, except CSAs and Farmers' Markets, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requires they be from a licensed Egg Producer and inspected by CDA. Obtain Egg Dealer forms and info at: colorado.gov/pacific/aginspection/eggs. For chicken eggs, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 303-477-0076. For all other types of shell eggs, contact the Manufactured Food Program at 303-692-3645, option 2.
Meat Processing - Poultry
In 2016, the Colorado Legislature amended the meat processing law to allow producers of less than 1,000 poultry annually to raise, process and sell whole poultry directly to consumers. The Colorado Department of Agriculture, Inspection & Consumer Services Division oversees the related labeling and record keeping requirements. Visit Website »»
Colorado Enterprise Fund
Founded in1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $500,000 to finance small businesses and startups unable to secure funding through traditional banks. With a mission to accelerate community prosperity by financing and supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses,CEF has provided over $56 million in loans to more than 1,900 businesses to help create or retain over 16,000 jobs in the state. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, CEF offers flexible financing statewide including its Healthy Foods Fund with special rates for businesses serving lower income populations in areas with limited access to fresh, healthy foods. Visit Website »»
Colorado Farm Bureau
At its heart, Colorado Farm Bureau exists to ensure the success of farming, ranching and our shared rural heritage in the state of Colorado. Founded in 1919, the Colorado Farm Bureau seeks to promote and protect the future of agriculture and rural values. Participating in your county Farm Bureau organization opens opportunities to serve your community, develop leadership skills, network with other agriculturalists and influence policy. For more information contact Lori@coloradofb.org.
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Colorado Food Systems Hub
The Colorado Food Systems Hub is a community resource designed to support healthy, resilient food systems across the state by providing relevant, reliable data—including enhanced mapping and reporting—in a collaborative environment that promotes peer-to-peer learning to increase impact and effect change.
This Hub was created by LiveWell Colorado in response to local food system coalitions' need for more relevant and easily accessible data and mapping capabilities in order to advance healthy food access at the state and local levels. There is a strong desire to learn from one another and avoid duplicating efforts in Colorado, and we believe that identifying where other food systems-related activity is happening across the state will strengthen research, policy advocacy, and fundraising efforts for everyone working in the food systems space. Check it out! Visit Website »»
The Local Foods Coalition has proudly supported Cooking Matters since 2012 to expand outreach and education about local food systems and healthy living. Cooking Matters partners with community organizations and volunteers to offer free six-week courses and on-time grocery store/farmers market tours to community members throughout the San Luis Valley.
Participants are taught the skills and confidence to be self-sufficient in the kitchen and create low cost nourishing meals that are balanced and delicious. This program highlights the importance of food in our lives as nourishment to our well-being and as a way to create community wealth. Former information about Cooking Matters or to enroll in a course or volunteer please contact Marlayna Martinez, Cooking Matters Lead Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719-937-2319.
Visit LFC Cookings Matters »»
Double Up Food Bucks Colorado
A collaborative effort by SLV Local Foods Coalition with Livewell Colorado team to bring Double Up Food Bucks to Colorado for Colorado grown produce purchases. Consumers can buy Snap eligible foods to get free fresh fruits & veggies with Food Stamps using an issued Quest Card at local grocer and farmers markets. Double Up Food Bucks matching system allows consumers to buy $1 in Snap eligible foods and get $1 in fruits and veggies free up to $20 per visit. Participating San Luis Valley Grocers and Farmers' Markets include: 4th St. Food Store, Valley Food Co-op, Alamosa Farmers Market, Creede Farmers Market, Monte Vista Farmers Market, South Fork Farmers Market, and at Valley Roots Food Hub Fresh Box Pickup locations in Alamosa, Crestone, and Saguache. Visit Website »»
Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley
The Food Bank network is comprised of 13 food banks located throughout the San Luis Valley. Each Food Bank offers nutrient dense perishable and nonperishable food options to anyone in need.
Throughout the San Luis Valley isolation, poverty, geographic expand, and limited economic opportunities give way to a great human need. As a result, food insecurity is rampant. Individuals and families often find themselves choosing between buying groceries and paying for housing or essential expenses. Rising food insecurity is a growing reality nationwide and in the rural San Luis Valley that increasing need is no different.
An average of 1 in 4 families living in the Valley utilize the Food Bank Network at some point during the year. More and more families ar tuning to emergency food banks as part of their long term strategies to meet monthly shortfalls in food. It is for this reason the the Food Bank Network if the San Luis Valley exists. To locate a food bank near you call 719-589-4567.
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Healthy Habits is a project of the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition promoting a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and other healthy local foods. Healthy Habits grew out of a collaborative of dedicated community members that has promoted access to healthy , seasonally fresh produce in the San Luis Valley since 1996.
Part of this collaborative effort has included working with Livewell Colorado team to bring Double Up Food Bucks to Colorado for Colorado grown produce purchases and providing Moki Demonstrations (Mobile Kitchen) during the growing season at the SLV Farmers Market highlighting the delicious spectrum of local produce available in the San Luis Valley. Free samples and recipe cards are given out wherever our Mobile Kitchen goes! In addition, for a $5 donation, people can get a bowl of the featured dish that day. Visit LFC Cookings Matters »»
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Helping People Help the Land
Conejos County Conservation District
Jason Coombs, President: email@example.com
Mosca-Hooper Conservation District
Kelley Baily, District Manager: 303-880-6135, firstname.lastname@example.org
Center and Rio Grande Conservation District
719-754-3400, ext. 104
Area Rangeland Specialist
Cynthia Villa, U SDA/NRCS: 0048 W CR 10N, Center, CO 81125
Mobile: 719-588-4155, Office: 719-754-3400 x116
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Rio Grande Farm Park
Alamosa's Rio Grande Farm Park (RGFP) in full bloom is a sight to behold. The community farm park is within walking distance of downtown Alamosa and serves our diverse community as a place to gather and celebrate, connecting east and west Alamosa through the city's trail system. Involvements include Incubator Farmer Program, Recreation on the Rio, Orchard, Environmental Education, River Trail, Volunteer Work Days, and more! For more information contact Julie Mordecai, Director, 719-580-0379. Visit Website »»
Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT)
Protects working ranches and farms throughout the San Luis Valley. We are proud to support our local farmers & ranchers. RiGHT believes that supporting local foods is vital to our mission to conserve our land, water, and way of life in Colorado's San Luis Valley. Supporting and promoting locally grown food helps develop a viable market that keeps working land in production and local producers in business. It also builds community and supports a way of life that we all value in the San Luis Valley. Knowing where our food comes from and how it was grown deepens our connection to the land, and sharing a meal deepens our connection to one another.
For more information contact email@example.com or 719-657-0800.
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Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is an advocate for family farmers and ranchers, local communities, and consumers. Founded in 1907, the principles promoted by RMFU are fundamental for the profitability of farmers and ranchers, assuring food, security, and strengthening energy independence. As a grassroots organization, RMFU opens doors for its members to be at the table in developing policy and having a voice in issues important to rural America. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union places its primary focus on education, legislation, and cooperation, believing the best way to create change is through working together. Visit Website »»
SLV Junction Community Bulletin Board
Communtiy Bulletin Board & Classified Ads for Colorado's San Luis Valley & Surrounding Areas. All postings are Free. Check out local food posts for Community Gardens, Farmer's Markets and Local Food Coalition information as well as the Local Roots Guide on-line. Contact by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Website »»
Soil Health Services
Patrick O'Neil, email@example.com
Alamosa, CO -website not currently available
The Integrated Nutrition Education Program (INEP)
INE P is a school-based, hands-on nutrition education program in elementary schools throughout Colorado. INEP provides a creative and fun way for kids to learn about healthy eating in their classroom and to share what they learn with their families. Each lesson includes a hands-on cooking activity that teaches students how to prepare and taste new fruits and vegetables. INE P is funded by SNAP-Ed and conducted through partnerships with the University of Colorado and school districts around the state. INEP is one of many
programs in the San Luis Valley whose goal is to help improve the health of its citizens, and it works with a wide variety of partners to create healthy environments for students and families. INE P strives to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, overall healthy eating, willingness to try new foods, and physical activity. In the San Luis Valley, INE P partners with the SLV Local Foods Coalition, Cooking Matters Colorado, school garden programs, school wellness teams, and others to accomplish these goals and instill life-long nutrition behaviors that prevent disease and increase overall health.
The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI)
The VEGI initiative is a program of La Puente Home, Inc. that connects community members in the San Luis Valley with opportunities to grow food and eat nutritious food through hands-on educational lessons, events, and volunteer opportunities.
The Boyd Community Gardes and school gardens around the valley provide year round opportunities for kids and volunteers to dig their hands into healthy eating habits and agricultural skills.The gardens also contributes thousands of pounds of produce each year to benefit the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley, La Puente Home, school cafeterias, and garden participants.
V.E.G.I. partners with schools and community agencies to provide garden spaces, lessons, and camps, resources, and to share the many benefits of growing food as a community. Volunteers and donations are always welcome and needed to maintain VEGI program and allow it to grow. Volunteers are welcome to share the work and share the harvest. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-589-4567. Visit Website »»
Valley Roots Food Hub
60 Producers at your fingertips providing produce, meat, dairy and value-added, wholesale, and community supported agriculture (CSA). Part of the Colorado Food Hub network owned locally in San Luis Valley. For more information contact email@example.com, 719-588-8245. Visit Website »»
STATE & FEDERAL REGULATIONS
Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program (CEPEP)
Provides accurate, up-to-date information on pesticide laws and regulations, environmental protection, worker protection, and pesticide safety for applicators, trainers, agricultural workers and supervisors, and the general public. Visit Website »»
FDA Regulations Food
Food Ingredients and Packaging: Visit Website »»
Food Safety: Visit Website »»
Food Labeling Regulations - Federal
Food Labeling Guide: Visit Website »»
Fact Sheets: Visit Website »»
Introduction to the UPC Code System
From the International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association: Visit Website PDF Doc »»
Food Safety Inspections - Colorado
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is the in-state partner with the USDA for the USDA Fresh Produce Audit Verification Program (GAP/GHP). Visit Website »»
Food Safety State & Federal Standards and Regulations - Colorado
Visit Website & PDF Policies Report »»
Guidance Compliance and Regulatory Information
Visit Website »»
National Organic Program (NOP)
USDA's National Organic Program regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced. Visit Website »»
Organic Certification - USDA
Organic Labeling and Marketing Fact Sheet: Visit Website »»
Produce and Plant Products Guidance for Industry
Including GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) & GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). Visit Website »»
Worker Protection Standards
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Visit Website »»