BROOMFIELD, Colo. — From more 64 applications requesting a total of $3.5M, seven awardees were selected for the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s “Move the Needle” grant. The awardees range from meat processors and food manufacturers to hemp and barley processors and come from across Colorado.
Through the Governor’s Office, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) received an allocation of $332,000 in CARES Act funds to support Colorado agricultural processors and manufacturers.
“When the pandemic highlighted weaknesses in our food supply chain, Governor Polis prioritized the allotment of these funds to drive advancement within Colorado’s food and agriculture value chain,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “The selected grantees exemplify the innovation and stewardship critical to Colorado’s agricultural industry. The grants will help strengthen our local food systems and create greater resilience and flexibility for producers.”
The “Move the Needle” grants aim to help Colorado’s food and agriculture value chain, by investing in food processing and manufacturing, areas which continue to be constrained by a lack of funding for business start-up and/or expansion.
“Ensuring Colorado’s food producers and processors have access to start-up funds is critical to bringing innovative, Colorado-based products to market,” said Colorado Proud Program Manager Danielle Trotta. “CDA is proud to make funds available to support the development and expansion of agricultural value-added projects.”
CDA used a competitive process administered by the Markets Division and the Colorado Agricultural Value-Added Development Board to review over 60 applications, before selecting the final grantees.
The review process was extremely difficult and thorough, with initial review and scoring of all applications conducted by an interdisciplinary team of the Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, and the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council. Recommendations of the review team were put before the Colorado Agricultural Value Added Development Board. Upon consideration of the recommendations of the review team, the Board endorsed the recommendations and received final approval from the Commissioner.
Of the 64 applicants, seven projects rose to the top. All awardees must complete projects by December 31st, 2021:
- Fruit for Good: A Good Food Collective – Cortez, CO $17K – Fruit Processor
- WO Investments – Del Norte, CO $50K – Hemp Processor
- Stagecoach Meat Company – Wiggins, CO $100K – Meat Processor
- Root Shoot Malting – Berthoud, CO $65K – Barley/Malt Processor
- JoJo’s Sriracha – Pueblo, CO $35K – Chile Food Manufacturer
- Nola Naturals – Avondale, CO $20K – Poultry Processor
- Homestead Natural Meats – Delta, CO $45K – Meat Processor
— Colorado Department of Agriculture
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