Hello everyone, 

I formerly was the Operations Coordinator at the Daily Press and have since moved into a new role as the CFRT Program Manager for a new Beginning Farmers and Rancher Program that is start next January run by Valley Food Partnership. I wanted to share a little about the program will everyone. 

In 2021, Valley Food Partnership (VFP) applied for a USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program Grant as part of its mission to creating a network of food and added cost producers that will create a vibrant and strong food system across the Uncompahgre Valley and the Western Slope.

In August 2021, VFP was awarded a 3-year grant to start a new project, in partnership with Holistic Management International, focused on providing new farmers and ranchers with holistic management, water conservation, and soil health training along with mentorship and internship opportunities with local experienced farmers and support with land access. This program was officially announced by USDA- NIFA October 27, 2021.

The Cultivating Farmers and Rancher that Thrive (CFRT) Program is committed to helping Hispanic, low-income, veterans, and specialty crop producers find a place in agriculture. These populations oftentimes find it hard to break into the business and we are committed to help remove barriers of entry.

The CFRT Program will consist of 11 classes with participants able to apply for mentorship and internship placements. CFRT will also be giving participants access to the Western Slope Food and Farm Forum, other special events, and several farm and ranch tours throughout the year.

Valley Food Partnership and CFRT understand that access to land can be a large barrier to entry and as part of the program, they will be working with landowners and other entities to help secure land access for participants. Cultivating Farmers and Ranchers that Thrive is currently searching for someone to help facilitate this as well as coordinate evaluation on the CFRT Program, in collaboration with CSU Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, as a Project Specialist.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the CFRT Program please contact the Program Director at cally@valleyfoodpartnership.org.

You can apply through the link on our website here.

https://www.valleyfoodpartnership.org/cultivating-farmers...

For more information about our Project Specialist position please email penelope@valleyfoodpartnership.org.

You can also learn more about Valley Food Partnership on our website www.valleyfoodpartnership.org.