Preservation effort continues
July 17, 2001
Even as the nonprofit Community Agriculture Alliance holds its annual meeting with a barbecue at Harmony Ranch, letters are making their way to people who could help stop the loss of Northwest Colorado’s agricultural lands.
The letters are the latest effort by the Agriculture Alliance, which was formed two years ago.
The letter campaign “is our biggest effort to date,” said Medora Fralick, president of the Community Agriculture Alliance.
The Agriculture Alliance’s newest project is called the “Land Stewardship Network.”
Fralick said letters have been sent to people who have been identified as second- or third-generation farmers or ranchers who want to stay in Routt County but can’t afford the land.
The Agriculture Alliance wants to connect such people with current landowners who might be new to ranching and farming and need help. They’re also targeting older-generation agriculture producers who may want their land to stay in agricultural production but no longer want to do the work themselves.
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Like the rest of the country, Routt County has seen a decrease in the amount of land involved in production agriculture.
Fralick hopes the Land Stewardship Network can stem the loss.
The Community Agriculture Alliance is funded by grants and with contributions from the city of Steamboat and Routt County. Board members of the alliance including agriculture producers, business owners, bankers and attorneys also contribute. (Frances Hohl is a reporter with the Steamboat Springs Pilot/Today.)