PROGRAMS

CAA MICRO LOAN PROGRAM

 

Launched in 2019, CAA is proud of this new and innovative program, focused on providing financial support for local agriculture with business micro loans in NW Colorado.  The program was funded by an initial generous donor with a $10,000 gift to begin the revolving loan fund and all donors are invited to contribute to this impactful program.
A Committee of CAA Board members will accept and review applications with a goal of providing short term, micro loans for local agriculture.  Loan terms and amounts will be based on specific project details.  Basic information and eligibility specifics below:

  • Must be existing agriculture business or operation, with a special interest in food production
  • Must be 18 years old, or have adult co-signer
  • Must adhere to CAA Anti-Discrimination Policy and be current CAA member
  • Loan exclude general operating, land purchase or lease; applications should focus on specific need or project
  • Loans are small (under $10,000) and short term (3 months to 2 years) with interest rate of 2.5%
  • Repayment of loans will go back into CAA Micro Loan fund

The CAA Board approved the following loans in February 2020.
Innovative Ag Colorado – a two year loan to fund expansion of local food production, specifically mushroom and micro green production.
Bee Grateful Farm – a seven month, one growing season, loan for fencing, irrigation and season extension coverings with the goal of increased produce growing.
M & M Custom Grazing – a six month loan to purchase cattle to stock a rotational grazing program on leased land.

We currently do not have an open application period.  If you have a pressing loan need, please contact Michele Meyer at 970-879-4370. 

Some project ideas to consider:

  • Solar pump for livestock watering
  • Seed cover crops for rangeland or eriosion control
  • Planting trees for water control, wind and/or animal habitat
  • New or upgraded gate on existing head gate for improved water control
  • Fencing or electric fence for cross fencing
  • new spray nozzles or boom for better application and reduced drift

If you are interested in learning more about this program, contact us.  And if you would like to make an investment in local agriculture, this program is a unique way to directly impact local producers.  You can donate using the Donate button on the homepage and simply note that you would like the contribution to go to the CAA Micro Loan Fund.  Thank you!

WATER EDUCATION

Community Agriculture Alliance is proud to support and provide leadership for water education and outreach programs in the region.  For over 15 years we have provided forums, workshops and tours throughout Northwest Colorado helping our residents and guests better understand the value of and the pressure on our water resources.

CAA works to support, educate and promote the goals of the Yampa-White-Green Basin Round Table and Colorado Water Conservation Board:

1. Raise public awareness of the YWG Basin Implementation Plan and the Colorado’s Water Plan

2. Raise public awareness of YWG Roundtable activities

3. Plan, implement and facilitate a series of Water Education Forums/Workshops/Tours in Craig, Meeker, Rangely and Steamboat

4. Increase collaborations and partnerships with other YWG basin organizations that wish to:

  • Promote water education
  • Encourage locally driven collaborative solutions
  • Encourage community participation in solution based discussions, issues and solutions
  • Provide professional, informative and educational activities in the region
  • Provide information on regional water projects, studies and related issues
  • Engage with area water interest groups to encourage constructive discussions and actions regarding water issues and projects in Northwest Colorado

LOCAL FOOD & PRODUCTS

CAA provides leadership and direct programs to support local food producers as part of our mission to keep agriculture vibrant in the Yampa Valley. We work with local ranchers, farmers and food producers providing direct support, educational programs and connections to help grow their businesses. The CAA Market provides a convenient, online option for producers to connect with local customers and sell products. CAA continues to provide leadership on regulatory issues related to agriculture and local food, connections for commercial/restaurant sales and coordination on storage/distribution issues.

NORTHWEST COLORADO FOOD COALITION

CAA partners with several other local/regional organizations on the Northwest Colorado Food Coalition. The NW CO Food Coalition is a broad based, diverse group. The mission is to facilitate communication, collaboration and integrate solutions among individuals and organizations to develop and sustain a resilient food system in NW Colorado. The Coalitions vision is to be recognized as the leader in assuring the NW Colorado community has equitable access to a resilient food system. Quarterly meetings are open to the public.

Partnering organizations include:

Some highlights of the Coalition work include a regional Food Assessment report and Community Food Dialogue.

LOCAL FOOD TASKFORCE

This working group focused on all things local food! Activities and outcomes focus on support and resources for local food producers, education and resources for consumers and community members, leadership and resources on Routt County regulatory process for local food production.

 

LiveWell Colorado and NW Food Coalition Routt County Food Assessments:

ADDITIONAL LOCAL FOOD RESOURCES

YAMPAVORE CAA MARKET

Be a Yampavore and shop for local food and products on our online market!

You can find everything from farm fresh eggs, to locally raised beef, pork and lamb meat. Seasonal vegetables, fresh baked bread and local honey.

Make a difference by supporting local farmers and ranchers and join the Yampavore movement!

 

We Appreciate You!

Our local producers thank you for shopping at the CAA Market and continuing to support agriculture in the Yampa Valley. Your support truly makes a difference!

LAND STEWARDSHIP CLASS

Course will be offered September – October 2021
Registration information Coming Soon!

A partnership between Community Agriculture Alliance and CSU Routt County Extension, this highly educational short course is for anyone interested in learning more about local agriculture and land stewardship.

Typically held every other year, this unique, short course focuses on land, water and natural resource stewardship. Course information focuses on issues effecting NW Colorado and features regional experts as topic speakers. Includes a mix of class room lecture and discussion and on-site tours/visits. The class is open to anyone in the community and offers professional continuing education credits for real estate professionals.

Course curriculum is based on the Living on the Land-Stewardship for Small Acreage courses produced by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension with collaborative efforts and input from our western states Cooperative Extension services. Land Stewardship 202 was developed and implemented for Routt County by the CAA and CSU Routt County Extension.

This course is approved for up to 12 Continuing Education Credits available for Real Estate professionals.

Previous Curriculum:

Integrating Your Stewardship
Ranching Stewardship
Water Stewardship
Livestock and Wildlife Stewardship
Grazing and Habitat Stewardship
Community Stewardship

Comments from participants:

“Overall a great opportunity for us to learn.”

“I learned so much that will help me be a better land owner and neighbor. Thank you.”

“Fabulously informative”

“Great class. Topics and speakers were excellent.”

RANCH TOURS

Ranch Tours are a unique Routt County experience and bring first hand experiences and education about local working farms and ranches. Typically tours begin in Steamboat Springs with a short bus/van ride to visit 2-3 local farms and ranches. Local tour guides will be on bus to talk about agriculture, history and heritage and local food. Walking tour of ranch operations including irrigation, hay meadows, barns, horses and cattle grazing, other livestock, equipment and lifestyle. Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, sunscreen and bug spray. Dress for weather as we will be outside! No pets or strollers. Air conditioned coach will depart from and return to downtown Steamboat Springs.  to schedule a tour for your group,contact Community Ag Alliance at 970-879-4370.  Offered in partnership with CSU Routt County Extension.

LEADERSHIP STEAMBOAT

Routt County Store & Share Project

WHAT:  The 2021 Leadership Steamboat Class is proud to announce their 2021 project, Routt County Store & Share, a cooperative freezer storage that supports the needs of local ag producers. We are launching a fundraising effort to raise $64,000 to expand our local food systems in Northwest Colorado and continue supporting local ag producers.

WHEN: Pending funding, we plan to launch Routt County Store & Share in June 2021

WHY: When the pandemic hit in early 2020, the interest in local products skyrocketed in the Yampa Valley. In addition, local producers experienced challenges with storing and transporting products. Routt County Store & Share will address these issues and more, making it easier  for producers to store and distribute their products throughout the community.

HOW: We need your help! The Leadership Class is now accepting donations for their project. Our goal is to raise enough funds to purchase the unit and cover startup costs and utilities while also setting up a maintenance fund to assist with operations long into the future. The freezer will operate under a cooperative model to cover operation costs and will be handed over to the Community Ag Alliance to oversee after the project launch.

Get in Touch

Sylvia Wappes
sylviawappes@gmail.com

Angelica Salinas angelica@steamboatchamber.com