Community, Business & Industry
CAA received a $10,000 donation to start a local Micro Loan Program. Low interest, short term loans are available for agriculture producers in the Yampa Valley.
2020 is the first year the Micro Loan program is available.
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
CAA Market provides a direct access between local food producers, consumers and restaurants. This on-line ordering venue facilitates the sale of locally grown foods, creates a positive economic impact and promotes the connection between local agriculture and consumers. All producers must meet county, state and national requirements for food safety and retail.
Over 60 local producers sell products, the consumer base continues to expand and direct payments to local producers increase each month. In 2019 CAA made direct payments to producers exceeding $100,000.
Recreation & Sports
CAA helps coordinate and make connections between cyclists and agriculture in our rural community. The Moots Ranch Rally Ride teams, a Steamboat-based titanium bike manufacturer, has a 50 mile riding experience on mostly dirt roads around the iconic Sleeping Giant. Riders pedal through working ranches steeped with generational history. Lunch is provided at a local working cattle ranch where bikers and ranchers mingle to better understand each other's lifestyles.
The Steamboat Gravel bike race, SBT GRVL, was hosted for the first time in Steamboat Springs in 2019. 1,200 racers took to the gravel roads around Routt County. CAA worked to provide education, resources and connections to local ag.
2019 was the sixth year of the Ranch Rally Ride and registration was filled prior to the event.
Comments include: "This ride has become the best day of my life." "Beautiful scenery, great food and authentic cowboys - who would have guessed bikers would be so welcome in your community?"
Offered on an bi-annual basis, the Land Stewardship Course is a great opportunity to learn more about local agriculture. Classes meet on a designated evening, weekly for seven-weeks in the early fall with several meetings on site at local ranches/farms. Continuing education credit is available for real estate professionals. Course topics include on site plant (grasses, weeds, legumes, trees) identification, information on soil/water/air stewardship, livestock practices, water regulation/practices, land mult-use issues, grazing and habitat management and an overview of ag-related entities and programs.
Comments from previous Fall Class Participants:
"Overall a great opportunity for us to learn."
"I learned so much that will help me be a better land owner and neighbor. Thank you."
"Great class. Topics and speakers were excellent."
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
CAA coordinates regional activities promoting local agriculture as part of National Ag Week, third week of March. We solicit sponsors, as our primary fund raising effort, and conduct an awareness and marketing campaign with the theme "Naked and Hungry. Where would you be without agriculture?"
75+ area sponsors contributed over $28,000, local restaurants featured special menu items highlighting local food products and over 90 posters were displayed in local businesses, restaurants, taxis, buses and partnering organizations. Educational workshops, discussions and events were attended by almost 1,000 people and the Ag Appreciation Breakfast featured local food.
In partnership with the Yampa White Green Basin Roundtable, CAA provides community education, forums and water tours relating to the critical importance of water for agriculture and the entire community. Forums and tours include the impact of water on agriculture, recreation, industry, business, communities and individuals. CAA has partnered with many regional organizations to provide information and resources related to water education.
CAA has coordinated several community engagement meetings to raise awareness of water issues. Over 2000 attendees at the events included representatives from agriculture, industry, business and recreation groups. The opportunity to these diverse interests to openly communicate and share concerns, ideas, and issues meets our ultimate goal of community education and engagement.
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
CAA has taken a leadership role in the promotion and support of local food and products. We work to provide direct support and connections for local food producers and developed an introduction to the County regulatory process for food production. We provide direct sales opportunities for local food and products online at the Community Ag Market making an economic impact for local producers. CAA also works to support local producers with education events, connections to local restaurants and other resources. CAA staff chair the NW Colorado Food Coalition.
Each fall CAA provides Farm to Table events utilizing fresh local food. The dinner sells out in advance and is everyone looks forward to this gourmet meal prepared by one of our local restaurants.
County regulations have been revised to reflect food production needs. More local food is being served in local restaurants, on local tables and at local events.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Children (4-12 years)
CAA coordinates local ranch tours for both visitors and locals to have first hand experiences at local ranches learning about agriculture, history and it's impact in the Yampa Valley. This program is a partnership with CSU Routt County Extension.
Feedback from Ranch Tour participants:
"Great family experience. Kids had a ball and we were all entertained the entire time!"
"Best part was the horse and the Routt-beer floats! Yum!"
CAA hosts and coordinates the only local horse shows in Routt County, besides the County fair. In its 14th year, the show features a total of 26 classes in Western, English and Hunter Jumper venues. All ages compete for fun in this community event which focuses on horsemanship, positive experiences and good sportsmanship
Comments from event participants:
"Great fun. Wonderfully run event."
"Beautiful location. Thanks for the opportunity to ride at Sidney Peak"
"Thanks for keeping this event and the tradition going"