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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

Respond and Rebuild Fund

The Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund has a third round of grants available, made possible by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. About $1 million is available for producers, processors, and intermediaries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open through Nov. 9, 2020. 

The COVID-19 crisis is dramatically affecting the food supply chain and the livelihoods of Colorado’s farmers and ranchers. There is a need for funding to support producers serving non-commodity markets, especially small- and mid-size growers; beginning farmers and ranchers; veteran farmers; Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color; and female and LGBTQ+ farmers — as those historically underserved by public programs will bear the brunt of the crisis’s impact.

Grants are administered by the independent Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team, a group of 14 food-systems organizations that has already allocated more than $370,000 in donor funds to producers and intermediaries in 2020. 

What Qualifies for Grant Funding

The Fund provides flexible resources to those who as a result of COVID-19 experienced costs, losses, or needed to pivot their business model. Qualifying recipients include small- and mid-sized producers, and entities that support small- and mid-sized producers, including processors and intermediaries. The fund is designed to strengthen work already happening in our communities, and to help local organizations respond to emerging needs. 

Grant requests must be directly attributed to the COVID-19 event. All qualifying expenses must occur / have occurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020. Qualifying expenses may include one or more of the following:

Demonstrated losses or costs:

Losses and expenses accrued in order to continue your business model established prior to COVID-19.

  • 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: 

Costs accrued to change or adjust your business model due to COVID-19.

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

Requests that do not qualify for funding: 

  • Requests for support that are unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Requests from producers with annual gross revenue less than $1,000 or more than $1 million.
  • Requests from processors with annual gross revenue less than $10,000 or more than $10 million.
  • Requests covering costs beyond December 30, 2020
Grant Distribution and Allocation

Grants will be available for individual producers, covering a maximum of $12,500 for demonstrated losses/costs and/or business model pivots due to COVID-19. Processors and intermediaries and (associations of producers, farmers markets, and food hubs) may request up to $50,000. We will give priority to intermediaries that demonstrate added value to their regional food system; we intend to balance fund distribution geographically and among commodity groups to ensure Colorado’s agricultural regions (including the Front Range) receive support.

Who Can Apply?

The following entities are eligible to apply in the third round of the Respond & Rebuild Fund:

  • Producers: Any small- and mid-size direct-market producers, defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $1,000 and $1 million.
  • Intermediaries: Associations, food hubs, markets, and other intermediaries who sell within local and regional Colorado markets who have a history of partnering with and can provide direct benefit to producers in their network during this event.
  • Processors: Organizations processing human or animal food and/or using byproducts to create secondary products such as fuel, fiber, or other agricultural products. Other processing of agricultural products will also be considered, but priority will be given to processing of human and animal food, including processing of byproducts of food (such as hides, offal, compost, grain meal, etc.).
  • For-profit and nonprofit entities.
  • Past applicants and grantees.

Applications may be submitted directly by producers, processors, 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.

The Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund will give additional consideration to applicants who are beginning producers; veteran producers; Black, Indigenous, and producers of color; female producers; and LGBTQ+ producers, as those historically underserved by public food and ag programs are bearing the brunt of the crisis’s impact.

This round of funding (round 3) offers larger grants than prior rounds; past grant recipients and applicants are encouraged to apply again. In addition to the equity considerations described above, reviewers will give priority to applicants who have never received grants from this fund. 

Please note that organizations currently receiving funding or planning to apply for future funding from other Colorado funders are still eligible to apply for this independent 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. The review committee then provides suggestions to the fund’s grants committee, 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

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

How to Apply?
  1. Select whether you are applying as a producer, processor or intermediary
  2. Review PDF version of form to view the entire application *We recommend that you save your responses in a separate file*
  3. Prepare application and complete budget template
  4. Submit application using the online application form. *Once you submit you can no longer make edits to your application*

Online Producer Application Form – Click Here

Online Processor Application Form – Click Here

Online Intermediary Application Form – Click 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 options and opportunities for aggregation 
  • Finding the best options for online marketing platforms 
  • Providing access to free, online and local food systems data through the cofoodsystems.org 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

Adobe House Farm


Alamosa Farmers’ Market


Bee Grateful Farm

Oak Creek

Boulder County Farmers Markets


CityGal Farms


Colorado Farm and Art Market

Colorado Springs

Desiderata Ranch


East Denver Food Hub


F.R.E.S.H. Food Hub


FloraBee Farm LLC


Glenwood’s Downtown Market

Glenwood Springs

Good Food Collective (Onward!)


Grange Road Growers


Green Junction Farmstead


Growing Gardens of Boulder County, Inc.


Hanagan Farms

La Junta

Harvest House


High Plains Food Co-op


Hixson Farms


Hunters Hoggs


Kenna Pacheco


Mo Betta Green


Mountain Flower Urban Goat Dairy


Nola Naturals


Reynel Arreola Farrier LLC


San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition/Valley Roots Food Hub


Seeds to Savor Farm


Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative


Star View Farm Ltd


Starling Farm


Sunshine Green’s Farm

Colorado Springs

Texco Ranch


The Farm Collaborative


The Learning Council


Three Leaf Farm


Tigges Farm, LLC


Turtle Lake Refuge


University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs


Round 1

2 B Ewe


Arrowpoint Cattle Company, LLC


Bangas Farm


Breen Mesa Farm Creamery


Cactus Hill Farm Fiber

La Jara

Cloud City Conservation Center


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


Colorado Farmers Market Association

Fort Collins

Mountain Roots Food Project


Steering Committee Organizations

Colorado Department of Agriculture

About: The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state’s agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. 

Website: www.colorado.gov/ag

Facebook: @coloradoag

Instagram: @coagriculture

Twitter: @coagriculture1

Colorado Farmers Market Association

About: The Colorado Farmers Market Association is a nonprofit that works to support and promote Colorado farmers markets through the direct marketing of Colorado agricultural products. CFMA works on behalf of farmers markets at the state, local and national levels – advocating in policy and providing structural connections between markets.     

Website: https://cofarmersmarkets.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coloradofarmers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cofarmersmarkets/

Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council 

About: The Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council (COFSAC) is a formal, Governor-appointed Board/Commission for the state of Colorado. Our members represent the wide range of agricultural producers, sizes of farms, and geographies across Colorado. Our members are bi-partisan appointees focused on a vibrant industry and improving healthy food access for all Colorado residents.

Website: http://www.cofoodsystemscouncil.org

Colorado State University Food Systems and Extension

About: Food systems are defined as the connections between natural resources, the agricultural and food industry, and the buyers, consumers and communities to which they contribute. Research, extension and education identifies and informs opportunities to bridge how the production, supply chains, and eaters respond to changing markets, policy, and environment. At CSU, we focus on these three key areas to train, influence, and communicate opportunities to connect food related roles in achieving healthy communities, economies, and individuals.

Website: https://foodsystems.colostate.edu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Food-Systems-Colorado-State-University-2356299411250737

Instagram: @CSU_foodsystems

Fresh Food Connect

About: Helen has focused the last 10 years of her career on both food access and food production.  Alongside her work with the CFFSRT, Helen serves as the CEO of Fresh Food Connect, and organization that aims to create a more healthy, sustainable, and local food system by creating a market for homegrown food.      

Website: www.freshfoodconnect.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freshfoodconnect

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/freshfoodconnect/

FrontLine Farming

About: Frontline Farming is a food and farmers advocacy nonprofit working to create greater equity across our food system on  the Front Range of Colorado. We specifically seek to support and create greater leadership and access for women and people of color in our food systems. We achieve these goals  through growing food, listening, educating, honoring land and ancestors, policy initiatives, and direct action. 

Website: https://www.frontlinefarming.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frontlinefarmingcolorado

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/frontlinefarming/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/frontlinefarms

Good Food Collective

About: The Good Food Collective is working with stakeholders across Southwestern Colorado to rebuild an intact regional food system that supports rural economic development, meaningful jobs, a healthy environment, food security & justice, and strong community. 

Website: www.goodfoodcollective.org

Facebook: @goodfoodcollectiveco

Instagram: @goodfoodcollectiveco

Hunger Free Colorado

About: Hunger Free Colorado connects people to food resources to meet existing needs and drives policy, systems and social change to end hunger. Hunger Free Colorado brings a unified, statewide voice to the issue and solutions surrounding hunger, with a goal to ensure every Coloradan has equitable access to the nutritious food needed to thrive and reach their full potential.

Website: www.HungerFreeColorado.org

Facebook: @HungerFreeColorado

Instaram: @hungerfreeco

Twitter: @hungerfreeco

Kitchen Sync Strategies

About: Kitchen Sync Strategies is a systems change company that believes a smarter, healthier way to nourish people and the planet comes from inspiring action across many different sectors. By connecting food systems practitioners with purpose and private, philanthropic, and public sector leaders in many fields, we work to develop regional food economies that are dynamic, transformative, and responsive to their communities.

Website: www.kitchensyncstrategies.com

Instagram: @kitchensyncstrategies

LiveWell Colorado

About: We believe universal access to healthy, nutritious food is a fundamental human right. LiveWell Colorado is transforming Colorado’s food system to ensure all Coloradans have equal and abundant access to nutritious foods from sustainable sources. Through advocacy for better policies, statewide initiatives, and partnerships with communities, and statewide and national organizations, LiveWell Colorado is creating a new food paradigm. We’re actively challenging the status quo and championing a future-forward food system that equitably feeds and nourishes ALL Coloradans. 

Website: https://www.livewellcolorado.org

Facebook: @livewellcolo

Instagram: @livewellco

Twitter: @livewellco

National Western Center

About: The National Western Center is a year-round urban hub for food and ag discovery — in the heart of the American West. Construction of the dynamic, 250-acre campus in Denver is underway now. When complete in 2024, people from all walks of life will convene there to lead, inspire, create, educate and entertain in pursuit of global food solutions. 

Website: www.nationalwesterncenter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalwesterncenter

Instagram: https://instagram.com/national.western.center

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DiscoverTheWest

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-western-center

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdDbYM4weExlwWK_aIAYqcQ

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

About: Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a progressive, grassroots organization dedicated to  • achieving profitability for family farmers and ranchers;  • promoting stewardship of land and water resources;  • delivering safe, healthy food to consumers;  • strengthening rural communities through education, legislation, and cooperation;  • being the voice for family agriculture and rural communities.

Website: www.rmfu.org

Facebook: @RockyMountainFarmersUnion

Instagram: @rmfunion

Twitter: @RMFUnion

External Facilitator: Keystone Policy Center

About: Keystone Policy Center empowers leaders to overcome national and local policy conflicts they previously thought were insurmountable. It offers a unique and innovative approach through public policy and subject matter experts with extensive convening and facilitation experience. Keystone’s rare expertise propels conflicted groups, coalitions, and divergent leaders beyond entrenched positions to common higher ground.

Website: https://www.keystone.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeystonePolicyCenter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheKeystoneCtr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-keystone-center/