CDA makes nearly $1M in CARES Act funds available to Colorado farmers, ranchers and processors
BROOMFIELD, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture is making up to $1 million in grant funding available for Colorado farmers, ranchers, food hubs and processors to support them in adjusting to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food supply chain.
Colorado agricultural producers are eligible for grant awards up to $12,500. Farmers’ markets, food hubs, processors, and other intermediaries that support producers are eligible for up to $50,000. Grant dollars were made available through CARES Act funds.
“COVID-19 has had serious impacts on agriculture and underscored how vital our food systems are,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “It is critical that farmers, ranchers and processors receive financial support to ensure their operations continue in the wake of this unprecedented pandemic. The Department of Agriculture has been fighting for them every step of the way and will continue to do so as we build a more resilient future.”
Previous grantees include Star View Farm in Berthoud, Colo., and Green Junction Farmstead in Clifton, Colo. “The funding couldn’t have come at a better time, and pivoting our business model turned out to be helpful for us,” said Bryce Barker, co-owner of Star View Farm. “It actually caused us to focus even more on what we want to do with our farm.”
The respond and rebuild grants will be administered by the independent Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund. Applications are open now and will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Apply here at https://cofoodsystems.org/covid-19-response-fund/.
Fourteen food and ag-related organizations joined forces in the spring of 2020 to form the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team and associated fund, to support Colorado farmers and ranchers in responding to changing market conditions in the midst of COVID-19.
To date, the fund has provided more than $370,000 to producers and intermediaries across Colorado, focusing on the needs and opportunities of small- and mid-size growers, beginning farmers and ranchers, veteran farmers, farmers of color, LGBTQ+ farmers, and female farmers — producers who are often underserved by public programs and projected to bear the brunt of the crisis’s impact.
Earlier rounds of funding were made possible through donations from Colorado-based foundations including the Colorado Health Foundation, Gates Family Foundation and others, as well as from individual donations. Learn more at cofoodsystems.org/covid-19-response-fund.