August 2023 || Newsletter Edition 158
In this issue:

CSU Food Systems Team Spotlight
Mark Your Calendar
Funding Opportunities
News, Resources, and Reading
From Our Communities
About Us
Stay Connected
CSU Food Systems Team Spotlight
Emma Dhimitri
Community Health, Wellness, Nutrition and Outdoor Education Extension Specialist, Boulder County
Emma is the CSU Extension Community Health Specialist in Boulder  County. She has a BS in Nutritional Science and Public Policy from Cornell University. Prior to joining CSU Extension, Emma worked as a nutrition education program coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in New York City and a Nutrition Education Research Assistant at Cornell University. Additionally, Emma worked as a Health Care Policy Research Specialist at RTI International. Emma is passionate about creating collaborative community relationships and promoting culturally competent programming in Colorado to address the health and wellness needs for underserved Coloradans of all ages. In her free time, Emma spends time outdoors rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking and exploring all that Colorado has to offer.
Mark Your Calendar
2023 Drought Resiliency Program Tours

The Colorado Ag Water Alliance is hosting a series of tours across the state to showcase projects from the Drought Resiliency Program. Tours are free and open to all. Registration is required. Local producers are encouraged to attend and learn about the projects in their area and opportunities for future funding.

Reserve your seat by clicking here.

Learn about the Drought Resiliency Program

Tour dates:
  • August 8, 8:30am in Otero County: Arkansas Valley Research Center Cowpea
  • August 8, 10:15am in Pueblo County: Pueblo Tomatoes
  • August 14th, 9am in Boulder County: Grama Grass & Livestock
  • August 17th and 18th, 8am in Larimer County: Corn Intercrop Grazing
  • September 5th, 8:30am in Routt County: Virtual Fence Demonstration
Food Safety Training for Cottage Food Producers
2023 courses

Learn how to safely produce food from home as a cottage food business. This online course covers a variety of topics, including: basic food safety, foods that are permissible under the updated Colorado Cottage Foods Act, ingredient labeling, special considerations for food preparation at high altitudes, and safe food sampling best practices. Registration is $50.

Courses will be offered online on the following dates. Click each date below to register and learn more about the program. For additional dates, check here.

CSU Extension Cottage Food Safety Training Online:
Go Farm's Beginning Farmer Training Program Accepting Applications

The aim of the Beginning Farmer Training program is to help train and mentor the next generation of local farmers. With three separate tracks (Incubator, Student and Intern), the program is able to meet people where they are and help them along on their farming journeys.

Applications are due August 11th. Click here for more info.
Economic Impact Calculator Webinar

Tools available via the Nutrition Incentive Hub build cross-grantee partnerships, leverage match funding, and create opportunities to visualize data. The GusNIP NTAE Nutrition Incentive Economic Impact Calculator is now available for nutrition incentive practitioners to estimate the statewide economic impact of nutrition incentive programs.

Join for the launch of the GusNIP NTAE Nutrition Incentive Economic Impact Calculator, where you will learn about how the tool was developed and how to estimate the impact of NI projects on economies. This webinar highlights the new tool and accompanying resources to elevate projects, explains how to utilize the tool to understand impact, and how to create new partnerships. 

Session details: Wednesday, August 16, 11AM-12PM MT

Click here to register.
Farmer Training Convergence: Growing in Community

Come together with beginning farmers and farmer-supporting organizations to share land access and training opportunities. Events will be at the Old Fort in Hesperus, CO August 18-19.

Sessions include:
  • Site & Field Tours
  • Mini presentations: “If you come farm with us….”
  • Networking session
  • Social Evening 
  • And more

Email Elicia Whittlesey: with questions or for more information.
New Transdisciplinary Approaches Webinar Series by USDA NIFA

Join this webinar series highlighting opportunities and challenges of transdisciplinary approaches within agricultural research. The first webinar in the series looks at the what and why of transdisciplinary approaches, and the second focuses on the science of team science. Follow the links to sign up for the first two webinars in the series, and stay tuned for more webinars on the horizon. If you have questions, you can reach out to Jessica Shade.

Upcoming Webinars
Date: Wednesday August 30, 2023 at 9am PT/12pm ET
  • Alison Meadow, University of Arizona
  • Dan Ferguson, University of Arizona
  • Doug Steele, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
  • Amy Ganguli, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Date: Wednesday December 6, 2023 at 12pm PT/3pm ET
  • Jeni Cross, Colorado State University
  • Anne Mook, Colorado State University
Historic Welby Days

Welby Days is an historic community event and fundraiser that dates back to the 1940s. This community event gives residents of the Welby neighborhood and surrounding unincorporated Adams County neighborhoods access to farm fresh locally grown food. The Welby area is unique in the fact that much of the open land is still farmed, yet residents have no place to purchase the food locally. They currently host a harvest themed farmer's market once a year but hope to one day grow it into a monthly event.  

In addition to produce, fall flowers, and shrubs, residents that attend can participate in a car and tractor show, a children's area, vendor booths and they have the opportunity to meet with service providers and local elected officials.

This event will take place on September 16th, 2023 from 9am to 3pm.

Rotella Park
1824 Coronado Pkwy N,
Denver, CO 80229
September 16, 2023 9am-3pm

Click here for vendor registration or to become a volunteer.

You're Invited to Ag Day at Colorado State University!

Celebrate our Aggie roots and traditions at Ag Day! Festivities start at the Nutrien Ag Day Barbecue with local food, music, and activities for all ages. Then, head to the football field to cheer on the Colorado State University Rams against the Utah Tech Trailblazers. The best part? Your participation helps support student scholarships at CSU!

Saturday, September 30th, 2023. CSU Campus, Fort Collins

1pm: Nutrien Ag Day Barbecue | West Lawn
4pm: Football Kickoff | Canvas Stadium

If you want to volunteer at the Nutrien Ag Day Barbecue, you can also click here to sign up. When you volunteer, you get a free ticket for the barbecue, an official Nutrien Ag Day Barbecue T-shirt, and a code for discounted football tickets.

If you have questions or wish to purchase tickets directly, please contact the CSU Ticket Office at (800) 491-RAMS (7267). 

You can also email us for general questions and assistance.
19th Annual – First Americans Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON) Conference

The conference will include sessions in 1994 land-grant teaching, extension programs and research that benefit Native American students, communities, governments, and lands. There will be a strong student focus and tribal college students are especially invited to participate and present their work. The conference will also include a USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) update, training workshops, information-sharing, and networking opportunities. 

What: 19th Annual – First Americans Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON
When: October 13-15, 2023 
Where: Hilton Denver City Center, Denver, Colorado

Additional FALCON conference information is available as a downloadable PDF.
Drive Lead Succeed Conference in Grand Junction, CO

The EDCC's Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference will be taking place in the picturesque city of Grand Junction in 2023! The aim for #DLS2023 is to provide a comprehensive platform for fostering a growing Colorado economy by equipping attendees with the knowledge, tools, and connections they need to succeed.

With the industry's top influencers and thought leaders sharing their insights and expertise, #DLS2023 promises to offer innovative solutions to the most pressing economic issues facing Colorado's professional economic development community. Attendees can look forward to quality collaboration, exchanging fresh, new ideas, and networking with leading Economic Development professionals, business and non-profit leaders, government officials, and more. Click here for more details.

When: Oct. 18-20, 2023
Where: Grand Junction Convention Center
Funding Opportunities
Grants for Farmers and Ranchers Available

The Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Research & Education Grant Program focuses on advancing on-farm sustainability solutions by funding innovative producer-driven research and outreach. This grant program involves agricultural producers (main applicants) and technical advisor(s) implementing projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture.

This program aims to honor producer innovation by funding on-farm research that benefits and is led by producers themselves.

Proposals are due October 25, 2023.

Grants for Professionals and Producers Available

This grant program involves an agricultural technical advisor (main applicant) and producers implementing projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. With the collaboration of at least three producers, projects must integrate research and education aiming to advance the three components of sustainable agriculture- environmental, economic, and social- and use innovative educational outreach to disseminate new knowledge to producers and other agricultural stakeholders.

It is expected that outcomes of funded projects will result in quantifiable benefits for producers, increase the preservation of the natural and social resources upon which agriculture relies, and be shared with other producers. $75,000 limit/one-three years in scope.

Proposals are due October 31, 2023

Click here for examples of Colorado projects.

USDA FSA's Organic Cost Share Now Open for 2023

This year the Farm Service Agency increased the cost share amount under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). FSA will cover up to 75% of costs associated with organic certification, up to $750 for crops, wild crops, livestock, processing/handling and state organic program fees (California only). OCCSP will cover costs incurred from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023. 

Applications are now open, and due Oct. 31, 2023. To apply, producers and handlers should contact the FSA at their local USDA Service Center. FSA is also accepting applications from state departments of agriculture to administer OCCSP.
Professional Development Program Accepting Grant Proposals

Professional Development Program grants focus on educating and training agricultural professionals to increase their understanding of and proficiency in sustainable agriculture so they, in turn, can educate and train other agricultural professionals. In a “train the trainer” fashion, this program focuses on increasing knowledge and capacity for agricultural stakeholders to provide further training and information to other agricultural professionals and producers.

Projects can be up to 3 years and may be funded up to $100,000. Proposals are due November 1, 2023. For more information, see the call for proposals here.
Research to Grassroots Program Accepting Grant Proposals

The Western SARE Research to Grassroots grant program is intended to address the barrier(s) to application/adoption of sustainable agriculture practices as identified in previous SARE research by clearly demonstrating to agriculture professionals and/or producers the environmental, social, and economic viability of the previous research and the benefits and challenges that selected previous work may present. Successful proposals must incorporate the research results from SARE-funded research projects and bring those results into the field through education for ag professionals and producers, emphasizing the strengths and barriers to adoption of the selected previous work, ultimately helping to increase producer confidence in adopting sustainable agriculture practices.

Projects can be up to 3 years and may be funded up to $100,000. Proposals are due November 1, 2023. For more information, see the call for proposals here.
Colorado Clean Diesel Program

This is an opportunity that can help farms and other Colorado business owners purchase electric or hybrid equipment and transportation vehicles. Businesses interested in replacing one or more of their older diesel machines with eligible lower- or zero-emissions equivalents can apply for a grant. Grants may be up to 25-45% of the project cost, depending on type of equipment. Anecdotally, this program is not very competitive and applicants who meet program eligibility criteria are likely to receive funding.

Rural Development Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loans Available

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the USDA Rural Development Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program is offering loans of up to $40 million for qualified lenders to finance food systems projects.

These loans will be available to projects that are starting or expanding activities in the middle of the food supply chain. For example, the program will support new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted.

Colorado contact information for Rural Development and its regional offices can be found at:
News, Resources & Reading
2023 National Farmers Market Week Toolkit Now Available

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) recently launched the 2023 National Farmers Market Week Toolkit. With less than a month until NFMW, the toolkit provides market organizations with the resources they need (including social media graphics, sample social media posts, media templates, planning guides, advocacy resources, and more) to make planning their celebration easy.

You can download it at FMC's website here:

This year, FMC will be highlighting the message "Farmers markets are changing the way..." which serves as a prompt for market organizations to create/customize their own message, telling the story of their market (hopefully using data!), and sharing the unique ways their markets are working to make change in their communities. Please see the toolkit for more information on this year's theme!
SNAP Online is coming to a farm near you! 

Thanks to a new pilot program from the USDA, farmers across the United States can now accept SNAP/EBT payments online through GrownBy

Interested farmers can start the process or learn more by completing this survey:

Value Chain Coordination (VCC) Evaluation Framework Available

Do you struggle to capture and share the full impact of your value chain coordination (VCC) work? Is evaluation continually on your list of things to set time aside for, get help on, or avoid altogether? Help is here! 

The Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network backbone team has developed an evaluation framework to help you focus and clarify how to evaluate value chain coordination and effectively document the impact of this work. These resources will help you align your evaluation systems with your values and capture the full story of your VCC work. 

Explore the Evaluation Framework here!
From Our Communities

Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center seeking survey responses from Colorado Farmers

The Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center (RMEOC) is working on a feasibility study in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and UpRoot Colorado. They are working to create an employee-owned staffing agency for farmers. To understand the need for such an agency, they are looking for farmers in Colorado to complete their survey by August 10.

Please click here to take the survey.
at Colorado State University
Food systems are the connections between natural resources, the agricultural and food industries, and the buyers, consumers, and communities to which they contribute. Research, extension and education identify and inform opportunities to bridge how production, supply chains, and eaters respond to changing markets, policy, and the environment. At CSU, we focus on these key areas to train, influence, and communicate ways to connect food-related roles and foster healthy communities, economies, and individuals.
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