Boulder, Colorado’s Sustainable Food and Agriculture grant program is designed to kickstart various sustainable agriculture programs, with a specific focus on regenerative agriculture, farm market infrastructure, frontline farm workers, farmer education, sustainable food programs, and local food production.
The program’s goal is to lend as much financial support to local, sustainable farms as possible. The recently-announced 2022 grants range from $25,000 for smaller farms to over a quarter-million dollars for more extensive operations.
“We continue to experience the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, and we also saw how COVID-19 has raised costs due to supply chain issues and worker shortages here in Boulder County,” Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin said. “Creating a local, sustainable, and resilient food system has never been more important. These projects help our community fight and adapt to climate change, increase food security, and grow our local economy.”
Boulder officials invited numerous farms, nonprofits, and agricultural producers to apply for the grants. Regenerative agriculture is a holistic farming process that works with plants’ photosynthesis to hold carbon in the soil. Overall, the practice improves yield, lessens water usage, and helps keep nutrients in the ground.
Grama Grass and Livestock received a $56,500 grant for its regenerative grazing program. The farm will use the monies to expand community education and study the efficiency of its current cattle transportation process.
“This funding will provide the infrastructure for us to move cattle from one property to another based on the needs of the land,” explained Grama Grass owner Andy Breiter. “Additionally, this funding will allow us to study our holistic management techniques on the cattle and soil.”
Eco-Cycle received $37,000 to provide on-farm compost systems to several high-profile area farms.
“We are excited to work with some of our most innovative local farmers to put our organic waste resources to use and to build a community-based compost system that will help us make Boulder County soils more resilient to climate change,” said Eco-Cycle manager Dan Matsch.
Other grant winners include Jack’s Solar Garden, a pioneer in agrivoltaics, Light Root Community Farm for their soil health fertility management systems, and MASA Seed Foundation. Their programs advance Colorado’s ancient and heritage grain movement. A full list of recipients can be found here.
The grant program is funded partially by Boulder’s Sustainability Tax, a tax program created in 2016 that now contributes nearly a half-million dollars each year to the grants. Overall, the city believes that financially supporting sustainable and regenerative agriculture methods and research is vital to the future of Boulder’s ecosystem. Continued study and implementation of solar and hydropower, as well as the restoration of soil health, is essential to ensure longevity and resilience for the region’s food system.