San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
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~ CURRENT NEWS & EVENTS ~

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Coalition News and Events

We are pleased to share news about our Coalition Efforts and to invite you to attend the many sponsored event happenings and meetings going on in the San Luis Valley and throughout Colorado. Be sure to check out our Social Media postings and Events Calendar below to plan ahead for upcoming events!

slv eventsWe are now featuring Buy Event Tickets by Brown Paper Tickets whereby we feature select events for ticket purchase via our Website or Blog. Look for the Buy Event Ticket icon accompanying an Event mention to reserve your attendance!

WANTED - Kids who want to have FUN! - RMFU Summer Camp June 2018

RMFU Summer Camp 2018Growing Our Fun, One By One (Newsletter Share)
Overnight camp is just around the corner, and you still have time to REGISTER »»

As a camper, you know how much fun you have while at Farmers Union Camp, so help us spread the fun by inviting others to join us! We have mailed to you and your family a packet filled with camp registration packets and flyers. We ask that you hand out the registration packets to friends and family-someone who may have an interest in attending camp. Also, the packet will contain large flyers and we hope you and your family can place the flyer on a community bulletin board, such as a local grocery store, restaurant or at your school. Also, another way you can help us by forwarding this Camp E-Newsletter to friends and family-between your parents and yourself, I am sure you can find at least 10-20 families who you can share this with. Share This Link »» Thank You!

We have found the best way to grow our camp is by personal invitation. We do not do a lot of paid advertising, but rather rely on current campers and their families sharing their experiences with friends and family. If you need more registration packets or flyers please contact us and we will mail more. Personal invites work best and hope you can help us "Grow our Fun, One by One".

What Happy Campers Say
"Farmers Union Camp is an incredibly unique camp experience. I have spent time at a variety of summer camps as both a camper and staffer over the years. RMFU camp stands out in my memory as one of a kind. In no other camp have I witnessed such incredible bonding and growth of both individuals and the group as a whole. This camp is rich with history, traditions, legendary songs, and long told stories, with each of them protected by so many deeply impacted generations. Stepping into this culture makes for an incredibly authentic and heartfelt experience. In addition, RMFU camps are smaller than some of the up and coming sports or adventure camps. However, in my experience, this is precisely what makes it so special. Relationships are deeper, experiences are more personal, and the quality of the environment leads to a safe and supportive place where young adults and children can truly feel open to learn, grow, take risks, try new things, be goofy and have fun. I cannot recommend this camp enough. It will always be a part of the best memories from my adolescence, and it is certainly an experience every kiddo should have." - Samantha Schuller, Camper/Staff 2000-2017
Read About More Camp Experiences »»

Senior Youth Advisory Council (SYAC)
Each year, several youths are elected at the RMFU Senior Cooperative Leadership Camp to serve on the Senior Youth Advisory Council (SYAC). Council responsibilities include representing Farmers Union youth at RMFU's annual convention by serving as pages on the convention floor and assisting with the Harvest Moon Gala. SYAC members also help plan for the following year's camps by planning and implementing theme night activities, serving as camp staff during junior and middle camps, and by role-modeling for other youth. In addition, SYAC members are called upon throughout the year to represent RMFU at events and other activities.

  • Louis Johanning, Arvada, CO
    Louis is already a leader at 17 years old, he is a senior at Ralston Valley High School with a class size of 522. In high school, he has taken many challenging courses including honors in human geography and advanced placement classes in U.S History. He also played baseball his freshmen year and played varsity golf during his senior year. Some other hobbies Louis enjoys are playing basketball for a recreation league with a group of friends, playing golf around the state, and traveling with his family. In the future, Louis wants to attend the University of Oregon to study landscaping architecture.
  • Brooklynn Cox, Brush, CO
    Brooklynn lives in Brush Colorado with her parents Chadwin and Merrie Cox and she has two brothers: Caleb (18) and Levi (11). Brooklynn is 15 years old and a sophomore in high school and is an athlete who plays on the varsity softball team as center field, basketball as a guard/wing, and a track sprinter and jumper. She is also a part of FFA and loves to watch Disney movies in her spare time.
  • Kathleen Marty, Strasburg, CO
    Kathleen lives on a farm near Strasburg Colorado, where her family raises various crops and animals. She's the daughter of Albert and Barbara Marty. She is currently a junior at Strasburg High School where she competes competitively in rodeo and plays basketball. Kathleen is on her school's National Honor Society and participates in the Diversity Club. She's also the secretary of her FFA chapter and an active member of her 4-H club. This Fall she had the privilege of attending the National Farmers Union Fly-In in Washington D.C. Kathleen has been attending camp since 2nd grade and can not wait to represent Farmer Union as a member of the Senior Youth Advisory Council.
  • Megan Wisdom, Haxtun, CO
    Megan Wisdom is a senior at Haxtun High School and is currently the FCCLA president for her school. Her parents are Jay and Cindy Wisdom, and she also has an older sister named Jennifer. Megan has taken an active role in her family's business, Wisdom Natural Poultry, by helping raise and market chickens and turkeys. In her spare time, she loves to crochet and knit scarves and blankets.

Please join us at our Camp Banquet
Junior Banquet: June 14     Middle/Senior Banquet: June 21
Families of our campers are invited to join us at the Camp Banquet. This special night will take place the last night of camp (the evening before they return home). If you are able to make it please RSVP to Sandra via email »» or call her at 303-283-3530.

How to save money and do away with camp chores?
Campers can receive $5 off registration for each new camper they recruit. To receive the discount the camper and their recruit(s) must submit their completed registration and medical form by the May 21 deadline.

A returning camper will receive one KP-Free pass for each recruitment. The pass can be used during camp to skip one KP duty such as serving meals, washing dishes, hall clean-up, and other tasks.

Payment Options
We are fortunate to be able to keep our registration fees down due to the tremendous financial support we receive from many sponsors. For about $50 a day campers will learn a new life and cooperative skills, build their self-confidence, embrace leadership qualities--all qualities that they will carry forward with them throughout their lives. But even though our rates are affordable for the entire family, we strive to make it as easy on your pocketbook by offering options.

For families that would like to pay for their camp registration fee in monthly payments or are in need of a scholarship, please contact Jennifer Bahr at 303-283-3550 for guidelines. We believe that everyone should have a camp experience and we want to make that as easy on our families as possible.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Leadership Camp is looking for a few good candidates!
Apply online at RMFU.org »»

Rio Grande Farm Park (RGFP) Events

RGFP Bikes & Bites ArticleStay in the loop on the wide variety of work days and events the RGFP puts on, be sure to visit their Facebook Page »» and their Website »»

The Rio Grande Farm Park commissions public artworks to be installed along the Rio Grande corridor.
View Press Release »»

Bikes and Bites
Take a tour by bike of your local community gardens around Alamosa! A family-friendly, fun-filled event to celebrate 4 growing spaces around town featuring local treats along the way to taste and try! The Tour will begin at the Rio Grande Farm Park, with bike decorating at 4:30pm and the tour commencing at 5:00 at the Farm Park. The tour will continue on to Adams State Campus Garden, the Alamosa Community Greenhouse, and Boyd Community Garden. Each garden will feature a locally-made dish, resulting in a progressive dinner for all to share! Bring your helmets and your hats for this unique garden by bike experience happening at the end of this month- tell your friends! View Larger Press Release »»

El Pomar Award

Press Release: https://www.alamosanews.com/article/el-pomar-slv-regional-council-gives-awards

From groups fostering children to dogs and from those promoting arts to local foods, a variety of San Luis Valley nonprofit organizations received funding from the El Pomar Foundation's San Luis Valley Regional Council on Tuesday.

The council provided $40,000 in merit grants to 11 organizations during a presentation ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Valley Courier in Alamosa. Courier Publisher Keith Cerny and Dr. Tom Gilmore, retired Adams State president, were charter members of the regional council 14 years ago and are still serving.

The SLV Local Foods Coalition, on McClure's recommendation, received $2,500. Melissa Fritschka, who has been involved in the coalition's efforts for more than 10 years and in 2018 became a board member, explained some of the coalition's goals including getting local food in local schools, hospitals and restaurants and connecting children with their agricultural heritage. Efforts like Cooking Matters teaches nutrition to families, and the food hub is an aggregate and distribution center for local foods to go out to hospitals, schools and restaurants. The Rio Grande Farm Park is another successful component of the coalition, which assists small farmers. Fritschka said the coalition recently received $100,000 from U.S.D.A.'s Farm to School program to assist efforts to get local foods in the cafeterias of the Valley's 14 school districts.

San Luis Valley's Farm to School Task Force hosts Harvest of the Month Events alongside Food Service Directors - January 2018

Creede School ArticleIn July of 2017, the LFC and several important partners received a USDA Farm to School Support Services grant to "grease the wheels" in making healthful SLV produce more accessible and feasible for Valley schools and pre-schools to procure. Since the onset of the grant the Task Force has worked with all 14 district Food Service Directors (FSD) in the San Luis Valley to begin overcoming barriers, including changes at the VRFH to lightly process vegetables, creating a Monday delivery route for schools, training FSDs in procurement through the hub's online portal, and working with FSDs to host engaging harvest of the month events in school cafeterias.

The Farm to School Task Force is made up of the Local Foods Coalition, Cooking Matters, the Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI), and the Integrated Nutrition Education Program (INEP).

View larger press release »» of our January event in Creede, and check out the Farm to School tab in our Projects section for other press releases.

Local Foods, Local Places

Many organizations and agencies in Alamosa are responding to the economic conditions and food security concerns facing many residents by increasing access to fresh, healthy food, strengthening the community's sense of place, and ultimately, enhancing the downtown area to promote local arts and entertainment, business, historic preservation, tourism, and local foods. In 2016, Alamosa requested assistance through the Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP)program to develop an action plan for promoting local food systems, and healthy, walkable, economically vibrant communities.

The goals of the Local Foods, Local Places program are to create:

  • - More economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses.
  • - Better access to healthy, local food, especially among disadvantaged groups.
  • - Revitalized downtowns, main streets, and neighborhoods.

The Local Foods, Local Places program is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). Alamosa was one of 23 communities across the United States selected to participate in the program in 2017. A Local Foods, Local Places Steering Committee was formed in Alamosa in preparation for this technical assistance award, and is comprised of a wide variety of community partners (see Figure 6). The Steering Committee expressed a desire to build on the communities' existing plans, which include the City of Alamosa Comprehensive (2017), the Rio Grande Farm Park Master Plan (2017), and the San Luis Valley Trails and Recreation Master Plan (2014).

In their request for Local Foods, Local Places technical assistance, the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition and the Local Foods, Local Places Steering Committee named better coordination among local and regional efforts, with specific attention to strengthening the local food economy, revitalizing Main Street, increasing involvement with the local arts community, increasing attendance at existing farmers markets, increasing food access and wellness, and strengthening the community's sense of place - as primary goals. Ultimately, the City aims to achieve its goal of improving the downtown area to become the center for local foods, local arts and entertainment, business, service, historic preservation, and tourism.

RMFU Chapter Meet & Square Dance 2018

Attendees enjoyed a community Square Dance at the SLV Farmers Union chapter meeting and potluck dinner April 7th, 2018 held in Alamosa at The Barn at La Mananilla.

Square Dance 2018Square Dance 2018
Square Dance 2018Square Dance 2018

Wild Seed Walkabout 2018

Community event on February 3rd, 2018 featured a Walkabout at Pikes Stockade park identifying plants and seed collecting.

Wild Seed Walkabout 2018Wild Seed Walkabout 2018Wild Seed Walkabout 2018

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"Eating is an Agricultural Act." - Wendell Berry

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