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Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund

Addressing the needs of Colorado producers facing challenges accessing local and regional markets due to the COVID-19 crisis

Requests for Applications

Round 2 is now closed. We anticipate opening another round in the near future. To stay updated on when the next round opens, please join our mailing list here.

Respond and Rebuild Fund Updates

Thank you for your interest in applying to the second round of the Colorado Producer and Food System COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.  We granted approximately $141,000 in round one, and will grant approximately $200,000 in round two. *We are requesting additional information from applicants, including a funding request budget, and therefore we have extended the application deadline for two full weeks between Wednesday, June 3-Thursday, June 18th.* First round grantees are eligible to apply for second round funding.

 Based on our findings from round one, we have updated our application and funding guidelines to focus on:

  • Existing losses or costs due to COVID-19
  • Funds necessary to support business model pivots
  • Intermediaries supporting producers across regional food systems



The COVID-19 crisis is dramatically changing market access and performance of farmers and ranchers. There is a need for capital to support producers serving non-commodity markets, with a focus on the specific needs of small- and mid-size growers, beginning farmers and ranchers, veteran farmers, Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color, female and LGBTQ+ farmers.

As a result, several organizations have joined together to create the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team to support farmers and ranchers actively responding to changing market opportunities and food-security challenges in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The team is currently composed of these organizations.

Without immediate mitigation (in addition to the innovative supply chain solutions our producers are already creating themselves), many small and beginning farms, and the supply chain partners who give them market access, may experience significant losses and market disruption. Among the businesses potentially facing losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis are the farms and ranches that sell through local and regional food markets. Public safety measures have caused the closure of universities, schools, restaurants, and some direct markets (e.g., farmers markets), resulting in significant shifts in where food is sold or acquired, and subsequently, markets for farms and ranches.  

Colorado funders have come together to create the Colorado Producer and Food System COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund (Fund) in response to urgent producer supply chain disruptions that are emerging in our communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Types of Support

The Fund acknowledges that emergency situations compound the impact of social and economic inequities that impact communities. Therefore, this Fund will provide flexible resources to producers and entities working to support the needs of small- and mid-sized producers (with 2019 gross cash farm sales between $1,000 and $1 million) who have experienced demonstrated costs, losses or need to pivot their business model as a result of COVID-19. The Fund is designed to strengthen work already happening in our communities and to increase the capacity of local operations to respond to emerging needs. 

Funding requests must be directly attributed to the COVID-19 event, focused on recovering demonstrated losses or a business model pivot,  Demonstrated losses include all losses and expenses accrued in order to continue your business model established prior to COVID-19, whereas a business model pivot includes costs accrued to change or adjust business model due to COVID-19.  These MAY include ONE OR MORE of the following :

Demonstrated losses or costs:

  • Reduced volume in sales
  • Packaging, storage, equipment
  • Equipment leases (e.g., cooler capacity, packaging equipment)
  • Labor (testing, paid time off, replacement)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety measures (sanitation, masks, and cleaning supplies)
  • Increased marketing
  • Other

Business Model Pivot: 

  • Developing and/or promoting digital consumer storefront to capture online sales from local deliveries or more distance shipments
  • Changing crop or livestock production (e.g. value-added products to gain more value per sale or make products less perishable)
  • Beginning or increasing memberships sold in community support agriculture (CSA) model, or other direct to consumer product offerings
  • Increasing organizational/farm capacity
  • Other

Exclusions include:

  • Requests for support that are unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Requests from producers with gross revenue less than $1,000 or more than $1 million.

Grant Distribution and Allocation

Grants will be available for individual producers, covering a maximum of $2,500 in requests for demonstrated losses due to COVID-19, and up to $5,000 to support business model pivots.  Producers can request for funds to cover both demonstrated losses and business model pivots, totaling to $5,000.  Intermediary applications can request up to  $15,000 (associations of producers, farmers markets, and food hubs) who support at least five individual producers. We will place priority to intermediaries that demonstrate added value to their regional food system, and intend to balance geographic and commodity group distribution to ensure Colorado’s agricultural regions (including the Front Range) receive support. 

The fund size is approximately $500,000, and we are working to raise additional resources. The second round of funding will result in approximately $200,000 in grant awards. Future rounds of funding will be released and adapted based on changing circumstances and what we learn from the first round. This funding will be used to meet immediate needs of producers and entities may re-apply for funding as it becomes available.

Who Can Apply?

The Colorado Producer and Food System COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund acknowledges that the most vulnerable populations will bear the brunt of the impact of this crisis. For this reason, the Fund will give additional consideration to applicants who are beginning farmers and ranchers, veteran farmers, farmers of color, and female farmers. 

The following types of organizations may apply

  • Any small- and mid-size direct-market producers, defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $1,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets, and/or direct sales to restaurants, consumers, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.
  • Associations, food hubs, markets, and other intermediaries who have a history of partnering with and can provide direct benefit to producers in their network during this event.
  • Both for-profit entities and nonprofit organizations are welcome to apply. 

Applications may be submitted directly by producers, community cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, membership organizations, for-profit entities, local governments, food producers or aggregators, business owners, or a combination of the above may apply jointly/together. Our goal is to be fast and flexible in this emergency response to community needs. For newly formed groups who aren’t organized as a nonprofit or corporation, the Trailhead Institute or the Denver Foundation will be used as a fiscal agent to distribute and help manage funding. Please note that organizations currently receiving funding or planning to apply for future funding from local Colorado funders are still eligible to apply for this separate emergency relief fund; participation will not impact current, pending, or future funding opportunities.

Who Is Administering the Fund?

The Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team will administer grants in partnership with the Trailhead Institute. Trailhead works with communities, leaders and organizations as the supportive administrators to augment their services and meet the critical needs of the community.

How Are Awards Decided?
All applications to the fund are first reviewed by our volunteer Community Review Committee, made up of Colorado producers and food systems professionals across the state of Colorado. The review committee then provides suggestions to the fund’s Design Team, composed of members of the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team coupled with additional members recruited to ensure that geographic, producer, and diverse perspectives and contexts are considered. The decision criteria can be found here. 

Frequently Asked Questions

See Frequently Asked Questions here. For additional questions please contact: CORespondRebuild@gmail.com
How to Apply?

Round 2 is now closed. We anticipate opening another round in the near future. To stay updated on when the next round opens, please join our mailing list here.

Technical Assistance

Beyond direct funding support, the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team organizations will actively work to connect resources to producers to ensure they have the information they need to be successful.  Examples include:

  • Navigating and leveraging other funding sources (federal stimulus, USDA opportunities, Small Business Administration (SBA) programs
  • Gaining access to financial resources, webinars
  • Doing business model development and market analysis
  • Finding the best option and opportunities for aggregation
  • Finding the best options for online marketing platforms
  • Leveraging data (LiveWell / CSU mapping tool)

Current and Past Grantees

We are happy to announce our grantees, representing diverse activities and communities around the state of Colorado!

Round 2 Recipients

Organization City
Seeds to Savor Farm Elizabeth
Star View Farm Ltd Berthoud
Texco Ranch Centennial
Turtle Lake Refuge Durango
The Farm Collaborative Aspen
CityGal Farms Lakewood
Desiderata Ranch Berthoud
FloraBee Farm LLC Lakewood
Growing Gardens of Boulder County, Inc. Boulder
Hunters Hoggs Calhan
Kenna Pacheco Center
Nola Naturals Howard
Starling Farm Boulder
V/ Ranch Rifle
Three Leaf Farm Lafayette
Sunshine Green’s Farm Colorado Springs
Green Junction Farmstead Clifton
Mountain Flower Urban Goat Dairy Boulder
Reynel Arreola Farrier LLC Keenesburg
Tigges Farm, LLC Greeley
Grange Road Growers Paonia
Hanagan Farms La Junta
Bee Grateful Farm oak creek
Adobe House Farm Durango
Alamosa Farmers’ Market Alamosa
Colorado Farm and Art Market Colorado Springs
Emerald Gardens / East Denver Food Hub Bennett
Good Food Collective Durango
High Plains Food Co-op Wray
San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition/Valley Roots Food Hub Mosca
Mo Betta Green Denver
UCCS Colorado Springs
The Learning Council Paonia
Fresh Food Hub Norwood
Glenwood’s Downtown Market Glenwood Springs
Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative https://www.southwestfarmfresh.com/ Cortez
Boulder County Farmers Markets Boulder
Harvest House Molina

Round 1 Recipients





2 B Ewe



Arrowpoint Cattle Company, LLC



Bangas Farm



Breen Mesa Farm Creamery



Cactus Hill Farm Fiber

La Jara


Cloud City Conservation Center



Corner Post Meats LLC

Colorado Springs


DiTomaso Farms



Emerald Gardens



Haycamp Farm & Fruit



Hoffman Farms, LLC



Innovative Ag Colorado

Steamboat Springs


Isabelle Farm



Laz Ewe 2 Bar Goat Dairy, LLC

Del Norte


Local Motion CSA (Leffler Family Farms)



Megan’s Mushrooms

Rocky Ford


Miss Penn’s Mountain Seeds



New Roots Farm

Canon City


Pronghorn Ridge Farm



Rocking 4 Lazy M Ranch



Sprout City Farms



Star View Farm Ltd



Texco Ranch



The Farm Collaborative



The Living Farm



Two Elk Ranch dba, Hayden Fresh Farm



Two Roots Farm