SLV Community Food & Agriculture Assessment

Assessment Findings & Related Documents

We Have Our Survey Gift Card Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this first portion of our SLV Community Food & Agriculture Assessment. We’ve randomly selected our winners from the survey takers. We’ve already been in contact with the winners and prizes are on the way! For questions, please email

Our lucky winners are:

Taylor Shelton, Erin Lehman, Kat Siglinger, Carissa Watts, Esther Vasquez, Jill Bertolatus, Teri Sisneros, Charmaine Boudreaux, Dawn Anderson, Vivia Lawson, Jessica Larriva, Dana Maestas, Kai Duby, Brisa Ferguson, Jenny Knobluach, Milton Thomas, McKeeg Russell, Tina Eastman, & Jean Borrego

en Español



As of March 2023 we have concluded the data gathering portion of our Assessment. Survey data and summit data have been turned over to Colorado State University. CSU will identify common themes that emerged from the community’s input during the summits as well as aggregate the survey data for us.

Next steps will include editing the data report and narrative written by New Ventures Advisors. We expect to publish our Assessment Report in June of 2023. From there we will create several presentations based on the report for different groups we will engage, such as – county and town governments, partnering organizations, and the general community.

We are happy to share our findings with anyone.

A Strategic Planning process will follow and when we have dates for community events around that we will post them here.

If you would like to become involved in our process, please email


Create an actionable and strategic plan to provide solutions that build the capacity of the food & agricultural systems in the San Luis Valley.

Addressing the opportunities and challenges in our current systems.

What impacts do these opportunities and challenges have on the health and well being of our people and ecology?

What economic impacts do these challenges and opportunities have on our producers?


  • Community :: Anyone who eats food
  • Producers:: Farmers & Ranchers
    • Ranch Hands
    • Farm Workers
  • Food Businesses
    • Processing Facility Owners
    • Delivery Drivers
    • Food Hubs / Aggregators
    • Grocers
      • Grocery Store Staff
    • Restaurant Owners
      • Chefs & Bakers
      • Restaurant Staff
    • Farmer Market Managers
    • Food Banks / Pantries
  • Local Governments
  • Policy Makers

Areas of Focus

Healthy Food Access – Everyone in the County has access to affordable, healthy, culturally relevant foods

Viable Opportunities for Agricultural Producers – Farmers and Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs discuss the ways they see agriculture being successful and sustainable into the future

Diversity Equity and Inclusion – Creating a plan for food and ag that has a diversity of voices – including race, age, gender, socioeconomic status, commercial and small farms, and more. Promoting justice impartiality and fairness and that those who are diverse feel welcome and included.

Environmental Health – ensuring a future with soil health, water health and conservation, air quality 

Emergency Food Plan  – Creating a plan for the San Luis Valley that makes sure every member of the community has access to good nutrition during an emergency such as weather, pandemic, food shortages etc. 

Project Partners

  • San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
  • New Ventures Advisors
  • Larry Brown – Colorado State University, San Luis Valley Extension
  • Rebecca Hill – Colorado State University, Regional Economic Development Institute
  • Dawn Thilmany – Colorado State University
  • Becca Jablonski – Colorado State University
  • Stephen Lauer – Colorado State University
  • Lynne Thompson – Saguache County Commissioner
  • Vern Heersink – Alamosa County Commissioner
  • Steve Romero – Costilla County Commissioner
  • Alice Pugh – The Civic Canopy 
  • Julia Freedgood – American Farmland Trust
  • Lonnie Gillespie – Farm Fresh Direct
  • Melinda Meyers – Saguache County Sustainable Environmental & Economic Development
  • Roseann Martinez – Town of Center
  • Sarah Jones – Jones Family Farms
  • San Luis Valley Development Resources Group
  • Barb Grandell – Sangre de Cristo School District
  • Steven Romero – Costilla County Commissioner
  • Larry Zaragoza – Town Manager, Town of La Jara, CO
  • Dion Oakes – Right Oakes LLC hemp farm, Co-owner of High Mountain Pure
  • Aaron Miltenberger – Boys & Girls Club SLV
  • Azarel Madrigal Chase – First Southwest Community Fund
  • Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • Lance Cheslock – La Puente
  • Zoila Gomez, Anita Rodriguez, Lucia Gaspar – Project Protect Promotora Network / Promotores Del Valle de San Luis 
  • Sherice Shiner – Food Bank Network of the SLV
  • Meghan Stalzer – The Camel Chick / Camels and a Yurt / Mudita Camels

Community Listening Summits :: COMPLETED

We will provided a meal at the beginning of each summit. A $50 stipend for full-participation will be available if you want it.

Please RSVP as soon as you can so we have enough food for everyone. Thank you!

Costilla County

Saturday, January 14
9am to 1pm

Centennial School
14644 Highway 159
San Luis, CO 81152

Breakfast will be provided.
And $50 stipends offered to those that want it.

Keynote :: Dr. Devon Peña

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saguache County

Saturday, November 19
12 pm to 4pm
Center United Methodist Church
387 S Broadway St
Center, CO 81125
Lunch will be provided

Keynote :: George Whitten

Mineral County

Saturday, February 4
9am to 1pm

Creede Underground Mining Museum and Community Center
503 Forest Service Rd #9
Creede, CO 81130

Breakfast will be provided.
And $50 stipends offered to those that want it.

Keynote :: Malcolm Snead

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Conejos County

Saturday, November 12
9am to 1pm
Chavez Southwest Market
611 Main St
Antonito, CO 81120
Breakfast will be provided.

Keynote :: Carlos Garcia

Alamosa County

Saturday, February 18
9am to 2pm

Adams State University
McDaniel Hall
– Room 101
1500 First Street, Alamosa, CO

Breakfast will be provided by the MoKi.
And $50 stipends offered to those that want it.

Keynote :: Alliyah Garcia

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rio Grande County

Saturday, December 10
9am to 1pm

Ski Hi Complex
2335 Sherman Avenue
Monte Vista, CO 81144

Breakfast will be provided from Sunflour Cafe.

Keynote :: Kris Gosar

Project Stewards

Meet every month on the second Monday from 4:00PM – 5:30PM

Project Stewards Monthly Meeting  Link:

Project Coordinator

Jae Sanders
575.999.5319 call or text

Project Director

Liza Marron

Project area includes the San Luis Valley counties of:

Alamosa  •  Costilla  •  Conejos  •  Mineral  •  Rio Grande  •  Saguache

This project is funded by

  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment – Office of Health Equity
  • The Colorado Health Foundation