09-28-16 US Senator Bennet: Northern Colorado Food Cluster Wins $238,000 USDA Grant

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Northern Colorado Food Cluster Wins $238,000 USDA Grant

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that the Northern Colorado Food Cluster (NCFC) in Loveland has won a $238,953 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help expand opportunities in the direct producer-to-consumer marketplace for locally grown foods. The Northern Colorado Food Cluster will work with its 157 regional members to develop a plan to improve farm and ranch sales opportunities to consumers.

“Families across Colorado are increasingly interested in buying locally grown foods,” Bennet said. “This grant will help the Northern Colorado Food Cluster to create new opportunities for farmers and ranchers to sell directly to Colorado consumers. It’s a great way to help our producers grow their businesses and to improve access to healthy foods.”

“The NCFC is excited for the opportunity to work with its members to improve regional direct to consumer markets like farmers’ markets, roadside stands and Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) marketing arrangements,” said Brad Christensen, Executive Director of the Northern Colorado Food Cluster. “Northern Colorado farms and ranches produce some of the highest quality products in the U.S. and it is our goal to ensure that more of these products get directly into the hands of regional consumers. The Farmers Market Promotion Program grant will enable us to improve these markets, growing opportunities to support a thriving food and agricultural industry!”

The grant comes from the USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program, which provides competitive grants to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Grants are also intended to help develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets.