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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
PARA ESPAÑOL, HAGA CLIC AQUÍ

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?

The second round of applications will open on Wednesday, June 3rd and close on Thursday, June 18th, 5:00 p.m. For questions please contact: CORespondRebuild@gmail.com. All questions asked will be posted to the website to ensure all applicants have the same information.

For Producer Applications
Online Application Form
Simple budget:
XLS | PDF
PDF Version of application (for reference only)

For Intermediary Applications
Online application form
Simple budget:
XLS | PDF
PDF version of application (for reference only)

Applicant note:  We understand that some applicants may not have experience with grant writing or reporting. We encourage you to apply!

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 Round 1 grantees, representing diverse activities and communities around the state of Colorado!

 

Farm/Organization

City

1

2 B Ewe

Hooper

2

Arrowpoint Cattle Company, LLC

Nathrop

3

Bangas Farm

Mancos

4

Breen Mesa Farm Creamery

Hesperus

5

Cactus Hill Farm Fiber

La Jara

6

Cloud City Conservation Center

Leadville

7

Corner Post Meats LLC

Colorado Springs

8

DiTomaso Farms

Pueblo

9

Emerald Gardens

Bennett

10

Haycamp Farm & Fruit

MANCOS

11

Hoffman Farms, LLC

Greeley

12

Innovative Ag Colorado

Steamboat Springs

13

Isabelle Farm

Lafayette

14

Laz Ewe 2 Bar Goat Dairy, LLC

Del Norte

15

Local Motion CSA (Leffler Family Farms)

Eaton

16

Megan’s Mushrooms

Rocky Ford

17

Miss Penn’s Mountain Seeds

Westcliffe

18

New Roots Farm

Canon City

19

Pronghorn Ridge Farm

Strasburg

20

Rocking 4 Lazy M Ranch

Wellington

21

Sprout City Farms

Denver

22

Star View Farm Ltd

Berthoud

23

Texco Ranch

Centennial

24

The Farm Collaborative

Basalt

25

The Living Farm

Paonia

26

Two Elk Ranch dba, Hayden Fresh Farm

Hayden

27

Two Roots Farm

Basalt