"Foster an equitable local food system that restores the health of the people, community, economy and ecosystem."
For producers of beef, bison, lamb, pork, goat and other meats&
Colorado State University Extension is offering its first ever Meat School, designed to expose producers to the skills and resources required to produce high quality meat, develop long-term successful relationships with processors, and identify and access new markets for improved farm profitability.
This October - December 2019 we are offering the Meat School in Routt County, the San Luis Valley and La Plata County. The presenters each evening are online but each regional class is guided by a facilitator, and participants will be able to attend the course in person (for community building and networking) or participate online. Each evening's session will last for 2 hours, from 6 pm to 8 pm, and will be taught by experts in livestock production, processing, and/or meat marketing for direct markets. Note that we will be covering ruminants and swine, but not poultry. See the class schedule »»
Register for a 6-week class in your area! Cost is $120 for all 6 sessions ($160 for 2 registrants from the same business), and includes a book (The New Livestock Farmer by Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop), resources, access to recordings of all presentations, and evening snacks. Classes will take place on October 30, November 6, November 13, November 20, December 4 and December 11. Register for classes »»
Routt County Extension Office: 136 6th, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487. Contact: Todd Hagenbuch at 970-879-0825; email@example.com
San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition: 412 State Avenue, Alamosa, CO 81101. Contact : Liza Marron at 719-937-2319 (office); 719-539-5606 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
La Plata County Fairgrounds: 2500 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301. Contact Beth: LaShell at 970 247-7189; 970-385-4574; LASHELL_B@fortlewis.edu
Nature Play Area Grand Opening - October 23, 5pm-7pm at Rio Grande Farm Park
Join us for a ribbon cutting at our brand new playground, graciously funded by The Colorado Health Foundation. In addition to our amazing new nature play area, we will also have: Live music from the band Sweet Radish, Free local food from the MOKI, And a hayride with Alan Simpson. We can't wait to see you there! RSVP Here »»
Boyd Learning Garden Pathway Build on October 26th
Volunteers Needed - Please contact email@example.com and join in for a day of Path Building featuring catered lunch by LFC's Mobile Kitchen (MOKI)
Colorado Proud School Meal Day (SLV)
Check out the You Tube Video that the SLV Local Foods Coalition new Local Foods Local Places Director Abe Rosenberg made of the San Luis Valley schools he was able to visit for Colorado Proud School Meal Day!! View at YouTube »» Abe also wrote an article about Colorado Proud to share this experience. Continue to Article on News & Events page »»
RSF Social Finance Seed Fund Supports Beginning Farmer & Rancher Resource Guide
The San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition is honored to have received a Seed Fund grant from RSF Social Finance »» along with seven other incredible organizations! Check out the recipients here: RSF Seed Fund »». The RSF Seed Fund will be utilized to help construct a bilingual farmer and rancher resource guide geared toward connecting beginning and minority producers to important resources they might otherwise be unaware of.
Welcome to our LFLP Program Director, Abe Rosenberg, and Community Advocate, Bernie Atencio!
The San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition would like to welcome two of its newest staff members to the team. Abe Rosenberg and Bernie Atencio are San Luis Valley natives that will be supporting the Local Foods Coalition as it enacts some of the strategies outlined in a recent strategic development plan for the SLV. Rosenberg is a young farmer and local foods leader and educator who is committed to developing the San Luis Valley's local food system. Atencio has deep Hispanic roots and a background in both youth and adult education, and works to support others to live healthier and brighter lives.
The activities these two will be working on were first borne out of the 2017 "Local Foods, Local Places" (LFLP) community planning workshop facilitated by the USDA, EPA, DOT, and others. LFLP planning took place over several months and culminated in a strategic planning workshop on September 18th and 19th, 2017, where a diverse group of over 60 community stakeholders gathered at city hall over a two-day period to create a robust action plan around promoting local food systems and vitalizing the community via local foods, recreation, and art. With a strategic plan in place, funders such as the Colorado Health Foundation, Laura Jane Musser Fund, RSF Social Finance, and community sponsors have stepped up to support the Local Foods Coalition in performing this work.
Rosenberg will be serving as the LFLP Program Director and Atencio as LFLP Community Advocate. The two will work together to bring equitable local foods access and education to our communities. We warmly welcome them to our team and hope you will do the same! Read the LFLP Strategic Plan »»
Generous Funding Supports the Local Foods Coalition!
The Local Foods Coalition has been blessed with several grants in the past few months to support our ongoing local food system work, so we would like to take the opportunity to recognize their generosity:
THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND Funds from Laura Musser are supporting the refurbishment of the Mobile Kitchen "MOKI" and a MOKI Coordinator as the program serves new roles around the San Luis Valley. These roles include bringing fresh food access to food insecure communities of the region, while continuing to offer cooking demos, recipes, and tastings at the Alamosa and Monte Vista Farmers Markets.
A robust grant from the Colorado Health Foundation are supporting a wide variety of activities from the "Local Foods, Local Place"s community action plan. This includes salary for the LFLP Program Director and Community Advocate, Alamosa Farmers Market infrastructure, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, and Cooking Matters support, sponsorship of Community Listening Sessions around the Valley, and a variety of other activities.
Anschutz Family Foundation General Operating support from the Anschutz Family Foundation will support the LFC as it continues supporting local producers, regenerative practices, healthy local foods access in homes, schools, restaurants, and grocers, and community nutrition and food education. Repeated support from Anschutz has made a tremendous difference in the LFC's capacity from year to year.
Clif Bar Family Foundation For years the Clif Bar Family Foundation has been a vital supporter of the Valley Roots Food Hub by funding important capacity-building and infrastructural development. This most recent grant is being used to support the Food Hub by both growing and stabilizing its transportation capacity as it continues to grow its market reach in the region.
The San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection Initiative is a partnership of Western Rivers Conservancy, Colorado Open Lands and the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, with support from the LOR Foundation over four years (2016-2019). Grant funding through this partnership is aimed at developing Valley Roots Food Hub marketing of regenerative soil farmers that sell through the hub.
RSF Social Finance Seed Fund The RSF Social Finance Seed Fund supports projects and programs that offer innovative solutions to challenges in the areas of food and agriculture among others. A generous grant from the Seed Fund will be utilized to help construct a bilingual farmer and rancher resource guide geared toward connecting beginning and minority producers to important resources they might otherwise be unaware of.
USDA Rural Business Development Grant The USDA Rural Business Development Grant will help provide technical assistance to the Tap Root Cooperative as it builds governance capacity and prepares to do strong regional business along the Front Range of Colorado.
Alamosa Marketing District A small grant from the Alamosa Marketing District is being used to support marketing for the MOKI during the 2019 season as an anchor for Alamosa and Monte Vista Farmers Markets.
Adams State University Food Studies 2019
Join the ASU for participation in their Bachelor of Arts Food Interdisciplinary Studies Program! Exciting and unique career opportunities in learning about food production and marketing through Internships with hands on practice on campus and in the community. Including emphasis in Health & Wellness, Sustainability, Businees & Food Policy, Sociology / Social Justice. View Studies Flyer »»Visit Adams State University Food Studies Webpage »»
Rio Grande Farm Park "Experience the Mystic Valley" 2019 Event Series
Enjoy this historical video shared by the Valley Roots Food Hub from their recent February 12th newsletter.
Vacuum Cooling in Agriculture The agriculture of the San Luis Valley is old, time tested, and proven. The town of San Luis has the oldest continuously-used water right in the State starting in 1852. Folks have been producing quality products here for a long time and it just keeps getting better.
Check out this old video about the lettuce production during the 1950s. For all of us tasked with keeping produce cool, check out these vacuum cooled lettuce tubes and ice packed rail way cars! Pull a vacuum on lettuce heads and the water boils away which is evaporative cooling!! View Historic Video »»
LFC Coalition Meeting Outcome in Conejos
Agricultural producers from Conejos County gathered in La Jara Thursday night, along with the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition (LFC), to discuss local agricultural issues. This meeting, hosted by LFC and Cactus Hill Farm, was an opportunity to further foster the relationship between agricultural producers and the work of the Local Foods Coalition. The Local Foods Coalition serves the entire San Luis Valley and works to create an equitable local food system in the San Luis Valley in partnership with producers and consumers. Community ideas, producers' experiences, and challenges inform the strategic direction of the Coalition as it seeks to support community farms, increase farm-to-table practices and educate the public about the advantages of buying local. The many projects of the LFC include Farm to School in partnership with all 14 school districts of the SLV, the Rio Grande Farm Park, the Cooking Matters education program as well as the Valley Roots Food Hub which has helped connect food producers with markets around the San Luis Valley, Salida and other parts of New Mexico and Colorado. View Community Meeting Info »»
Interested in getting more involved with Double Up Food Bucks?
LiveWell Colorado is actively working to transform access to nutritious food in the entire state. One of its major programs, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), allows SNAP recipients to receive $1 for every $1 spent on SNAP-eligible food, up to $20. These "double up food bucks" can then be used to purchase fresh Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables. DUFB was started in 2016 and has helped people bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables while supporting local farmers. LiveWell Colorado is taking DUFB to the next level and is looking to develop and increase community engagement.
In order to do this, LiveWell will be working with partners across the state to develop the Community Food Advocates program. This program works with local ambassadors to share the DUFB program with community members and organizations to increase participation.
We are actively seeking current or past recipients of SNAP and DUFB participants as Community Food Advocates. We are currently looking for Advocates in Southwest Colorado (Montezuma and La Plata Counties, with some outreach in Archuleta and Dolores Counties), Denver, Garfield County, Montrose County, and the San Luis Valley.
Tierra Vida Farm - High Production Micro Farm Presentation 2018
Daniel Fullmer shares his insightful presentation using raised beds and compost in the Desert Southwest with emphasis on practices of minimal to no tillage, composting, cover cropping, rotational grazing, intercropping, and transplanting. View Tierra Vida Farm Presentation »»
Liza Marron recognized for the 2018 Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award!