BFRDP Projects

Cultivating Farmers and Ranchers that Thrive: An Innovative Model for Holistic Agriculture Success in the High Desert West
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $591,773
Grant Program: 2020 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program 2021 Awards
Project Director: Penelope Powell
Organization: Western Colorado Food and Agriculture Council DBA Valley Food Partnership


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Cultivating Farmers and Ranchers that Thrive (CFRT), led by Valley Food Partnership (VFP), is a collaborative project focused on meeting the unique needs of beginning farmers and ranchers in rural, high desert conditions. Our ultimate goal is to increase the number of Hispanic, veteran, and limited resource farmers and ranchers that can successfully enter and sustain agribusiness operations to support an improved regional food production system in Western Colorado. Specific goals are to: increase # of farmers and ranchers successfully engaged in economically viable and holistic agricultural practices in the Western Colorado; assure that special-emphasis audiences (veterans, Hispanics, limited resource and specialty-crop-focused participants) are fairly represented in agriculture professions in our region; and assure that beginning farmers/ranchers have long-term access to land, training, education, markets, and technical assistance. CFRT meets these objectives by delivering an accessible, farmer/rancher-driven, cohesive progression of bi-lingual core courses, continuing education, technical support, and on-site experiences that address production and management topics. Coupled with in-depth mentorship and land access support, the project is geared specifically to the regionally-driven needs of our target audiences. Key partners on the project include: Holistic Management International, Hispanic Affairs Project, Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans, and Colorado State University. Additional collaborators include members of our Farmer Rancher Advisory Team and various other state and community organizations. 25% of the federal funds requested will be used to serve military veterans, 50% to serve socially-disadvantaged, limited resource, and farmworker audiences, and 96% of federal funds will be allocated to Community Based Organizations.

Number of Participants: 171


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success