This site has a wealth of information for Colorado producers and food product manufacturers who want to sell direct to consumers including institutions such as schools. Each page includes resources specific to Farm to School and are labeled as such as well as a page dedicated to Farm to School resources. Importantly, it includes everything you’ll need to know to meet federal, state and local food licensing regulations.
Good News! MarketMaker has added “Farm to School” as one of the sales categories, now making it easier than ever for schools to find you! If you are a registered MarketMaker user, log into your profile and find the “Methods of Sale” area under the type of products you offer. Check “Farm to School” box.
If you are not yet on MarketMaker, register now! Go to Colorado MarketMaker and click on “Register Your Business.” Don’t wait – get your information out now! Schools are looking for producers and this is one of the easiest ways for local districts to find you.
Farm to School Geographic Preference Guidance
As a producer, you may be wondering if you have to compete against major food distributors. Under the new USDA geographic preference rules, local producers are now on a more equal footing. The Farm to School Task Force and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have released a user-friendly “Frequently Asked Questions” to guide you:
The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to help improve business sustainability and profitability of commercial fruit and vegetable growers in Colorado of all sizes, organic and conventional, direct marketing and wholesale marketing.
Located in the heart of Western Colorado’s Uncompahgre Valley, the Valley Food Partnership is a small group of dedicated volunteers who are working together to grow a healthy community by connecting local farms to local forks.
The Valley Food Partnership includes a diverse group of stakeholders, each of whom are dedicated to growing our local food system while improving the health of our citizens and economy. Our membership includes farmers, parents, health professionals, restaurateurs, chefs, educators, non-profit organizations, and community based organizations such as the hospital, school district, recreation departments, and senior programs.
The Mountain Roots Food Project build connections between area farmers and cafeterias, support kitchen staff in procuring local foods and in increasing healthy, scratch cooking. They connect kids to the land by teaching how healthy food choices affect the health of their bodies, the environment, and the community. And they teach kids how to plant, grow, and harvest, and how to identify, choose, prepare, and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.
The purpose of the Network is to help Southwestern producers and communities (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico) develop new and improved markets and enterprises and to rebuild local food systems.
The Farm to School Initiative provides strategic support for school districts to ensure students have access to healthy, locally grown food in their school meal programs. Guidestone helps build school gardens and integrate garden-based and classroom learning experiences with curriculum correlated to state education standards.
The Valley Roots Food Hub is based out of the San Luis Valley and Chaffee County. They are the aggregating, marketing, and customer service link between local producers and local buyers. Their mission is to build, operate, and sustain a local food system that increases the demand for and accessibility of fresh, healthy food.