A true champion for social justice, Liza has relentlessly shined a light on community health issues by raising the voices of those left in the shadows. Throughout her career, Liza has fought to bring health in reach for more Coloradans by working to develop programs and policies that advance food access and security, especially for migrant workers. Of her many successes, Liza has also worked on a mentoring program for asset-challenged youth, that inspired her to become a licensed foster care home, specializing in hard-to-place youth.
Today, as the founding director of the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition (SLVLFC), she is helping to foster an equitable food system that restores the health of the people, community, economy and ecosystem. Key programs and projects underway at SLVLFC include the Valley Roots Food Hub aggregation and distribution enterprise complete with commercial kitchen for value-added production; the Rio Grande Farm Park, a farmer incubator and recreation park; Cooking Matters program that teaches families to cook healthy on a budget; and the San Luis Valley Farm-to-School Task Force.
The award program is named after the late Dr. Virgilio Licona, who passed in 2016. Dr. Licona worked to improve the health of Coloradans most in need, focusing his expertise as a physician in rural health care delivery and migrant health. A nationally recognized advocate for social justice, he brought a critical voice to some of the most important conversations and decisions related to how we can bring health in reach for all Coloradans. Learn more about the award program and Liza's work to enrich healthy minds, bodies and communities. Read more about the Community Award at the Valley Courier, August 1st, 2018.
Colorado Gives Day - December 4th, 2018
Happy GivingTuesday! GivingTuesday is a charitable response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in which philanthropic action is encouraged. In Colorado, the way we participate in GivingTuesday is by scheduling donations for Colorado Gives Day, December 4th. Colorado Gives Day is a statewide movement that inspires and unites thousands of donors to "give where they live" and support Colorado nonprofits. So as you reflect on what you are thankful for this season, we ask that you consider supporting the Local Foods Coalition as it continues tackling systemic food issues within the San Luis Valley by scheduling your donation at Colorado Gives SLVLFC »»
Join us for LiveWell's annual HEAL Summit! We are thrilled to welcome Qiana Mickie, Executive Director of Just Food & Paul Schmitz, CEO of Leading Inside Out as our 2018 Summit keynote speakers. Join us for our premier annual convening that brings together HEAL leaders throughout the state and beyond. Learn More & Get Early Bird Tickets! »»
Rio Reels Film Festival - November 8th, 2018
Friends, Just wanted to be sure you knew about this fun night of film, food, drink and friends— all in support of a great cause, the restoration of our river through the work of the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project!
The event is a film festival that celebrates rivers and the joys they bring to our lives, silent and live auctions with exciting, local prizes, along with snacks, wine and beer to enjoy throughout the evening.
Rio Reels will be on Friday, November 9th from 6-9pm at ASU's McDaniel Hall, Room 101. (There's plenty of parking on the east side of the building.) For more info and to purchase advance tickets visit Rio Grande Headwaters »» Hope to see you there!
Dia de los Muertos Event - October 16th & November 2nd-3rd, 2018
WE want to spread the word about the C.A.S.A. Center hosting the biggest Dia de los Muertos event in the history of Adams State! C.A.S.A. has a stellar line up of events this year with various collaborative efforts (ASU Mariachi Corazon del Valle, Semillas de la Tierra, SACNAS, Kindred Spirits, Nielsen Library, Faculty/Staff, Community, Student Clubs, CoRE Social Media and C.A.S.A. Center).
We have 479 seats to fill in Richardson Hall Auditorium, October 16th for the Disney Pixar Movie: COCO! All events are FREE to the public! WE hope you will join in and spread the word! View Event Poster »»
Colorado Proud School Meal Day September 12th, 2018
Colorado Proud School Meal Day is a day to celebrate Colorado agriculture and to educate school children about healthy eating. Schools across the state are encouraged to source some of their ingredients from Colorado-based farms on Colorado Proud Day. The San Luis Valley Farm to School Task Force saw Colorado Proud Day as an opportunity to transition toward schools hosting their own Harvest of the Month celebrations by providing Food Service Directors at each school with the necessary resources (several schools have already been celebrating Colorado Proud Day annually). Mandy Wilner of the Task Force put together elaborate kits that included vegetable costumes, voting stations, a map of Colorado, and some other party supplies.
Save the Date! Mark your calendars for the 6th Annual LOCAL! Harvest Festival August 25-26th. We hope to see you at this year's LOCAL! Harvest Festival in August! Events include an Alamosa Farmers Market tour led by Cooking Matters, a LOCAL! farm tour, a Farm-to-Barbecue dinner with James Beard Award winner Adrian Miller (RSVP), and the Harvest Festival itself (free entrance!). This year's festival includes hands-on educational experiences, highlights San Luis Valley farmers, offers a variety of local foods, and is partnering with ALMA for the final Sundays at Six concert featuring Mariachi San Luis! View Festival Event Poster »» View Farm Tour Event Poster »» View Gathering Photo »»
SLV Soil Health Meeting - August 21st, 2018
Location: SLV Research Station (NE Corner of Hwy 285 and 9N, southwest of the town of Center) Start Time: 7pm Light Refreshments & Hors D'oeuvres
Special Guest - Dr. Don Huber - Mineral Nutrition & Plant Disease Specialist Dr. Huber, emeritus professor of plant pathology from Purdue University, has spent his career studying the impact of soil ecology on crop disease development, with particular emphasis on the influence of fertility management on diseases. Most recently, Dr. Huber has studied the role glyphosate herbicide is playing in changing soil microbial community dynamics, and the diseases which can result due to this change. Dr. Huber travels extensively with his work, is keen to learn from us, and to share his perspective on soil health as he sees it engaged around the world.
Patrick O'Neill of Soil Health Services, PBC has sponsored Dr. Don Huber's visit to the valley, and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Mosca-Hooper Conservation District, and KW Farms each have pitched in for refreshments for the meeting. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Don Huber to join our discussion during this month's meeting on Tuesday evening, 21 Aug 2018, 7pm, at the Colorado State University San Luis Valley Research Station. For more information, you may contact Patrick O' Neill at 719-588-0836.
Thanks to our sponsors for making possible Dr. Huber's visit to the SLV, and to CSU SLV Research Station for the space to meet. We hope to have many attend August 21st, for what promises to be a lively and informative interaction.
Cooking Matters - Summer Fun & Food Access in the San Luis Valley! - June-August 2018
Summertime Food Resources Summer is here, and for far too many children, this time of year can mean uncertainty about where their next meal is coming from. When school is out of session, how are our most vulnerable friends, families and neighbors ensuring they have access to healthy food for their families?
Health Matters Event - Let's talk about a healthier Alamosa - June 28th, 2018
At the Colorado Health Foundation, we believe that health is a basic human right. We also believe that in order to improve the health of Coloradans, we must build relationships, learn and work locally to harness the ingenuity that only a community can produce to solve its most pressing health challenges.
What inspires you to make Alamosa County healthier? The Foundation is partnering with The City of Alamosa, Boys & Girls Club of the San Luis Valley, San Luis Valley Health, San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition and Jamie Laurie and Stephen Brackett from the Flobots. We want to discuss the great work that is going on in your community and brainstorm what changes you want to see happen in the future. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public and is being held at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center. Come join us!
VRFH Summer Shindig - June 22nd, 2018
A true farm-to-table experience hosted by the Valley Roots Food Hub! Help us raise a glass (and our forks!) as we celebrate our very own SLV producers and kickoff the summer growing season at the Colorado Farm Brewery.
The dinner will be buffet style and feature multiple dishes, using locally grown and produced ingredients, made with love by the Valley Roots Food Hub's own root food catering and Gosar Sausage.
Conejos Clean Water Groundbreaking Ceremony - June 16th, 2018
Conejos Clean Water, the Town of Antonito, Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, Generation Wild, National Park Service, Architects Out West, LLC, and the Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association are building an Outdoor Nutrition Education Center and new community garden on the Warshauer Mansion property located at 515 River Street in Antonito.
Come join us on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 3:00pm-6:00pm for a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the beginnings of the project and learn about how this new space will come to life in the next several years. A free dinner will be provided by Conejos Clean Water and catered by the Dutch Mill with ingredients sourced locally through the Valley Roots Food Hub, traditional dancing with Los Vecinos Bailadores, and live music by Mariachi San Luis. View Event Poster »»
WANTED - Kids who want to have FUN! - RMFU Summer Camp June 11-22nd, 2018
Growing Our Fun, One By One (Newsletter Share) Overnight camp is just around the corner, and you still have time to Register.
As a camper, you know how much fun you have while at Farmers Union Camp, so help us spread the fun by inviting others to join us! We have mailed to you and your family a packet filled with camp registration packets and flyers. We ask that you hand out the registration packets to friends and family-someone who may have an interest in attending camp. Also, the packet will contain large flyers and we hope you and your family can place the flyer on a community bulletin board, such as a local grocery store, restaurant or at your school. Also, another way you can help us by forwarding this Camp E-Newsletter to friends and family-between your parents and yourself, I am sure you can find at least 10-20 families who you can share this with. Share This Link »» Thank You!
We have found the best way to grow our camp is by personal invitation. We do not do a lot of paid advertising, but rather rely on current campers and their families sharing their experiences with friends and family. If you need more registration packets or flyers please contact us and we will mail more. Personal invites work best and hope you can help us "Grow our Fun, One by One".
What Happy Campers Say "Farmers Union Camp is an incredibly unique camp experience. I have spent time at a variety of summer camps as both a camper and staffer over the years. RMFU camp stands out in my memory as one of a kind. In no other camp have I witnessed such incredible bonding and growth of both individuals and the group as a whole. This camp is rich with history, traditions, legendary songs, and long told stories, with each of them protected by so many deeply impacted generations. Stepping into this culture makes for an incredibly authentic and heartfelt experience. In addition, RMFU camps are smaller than some of the up and coming sports or adventure camps. However, in my experience, this is precisely what makes it so special. Relationships are deeper, experiences are more personal, and the quality of the environment leads to a safe and supportive place where young adults and children can truly feel open to learn, grow, take risks, try new things, be goofy and have fun. I cannot recommend this camp enough. It will always be a part of the best memories from my adolescence, and it is certainly an experience every kiddo should have." -Samantha Schuller, Camper/Staff 2000-2017.
Senior Youth Advisory Council (SYAC)
Each year, several youths are elected at the RMFU Senior Cooperative Leadership Camp to serve on the Senior Youth Advisory Council (SYAC). Council responsibilities include representing Farmers Union youth at RMFU's annual convention by serving as pages on the convention floor and assisting with the Harvest Moon Gala. SYAC members also help plan for the following year's camps by planning and implementing theme night activities, serving as camp staff during junior and middle camps, and by role-modeling for other youth. In addition, SYAC members are called upon throughout the year to represent RMFU at events and other activities. Read More About Summer Camp »»
Cinco de Mayo Celebration - May 5th, 2018
Join Us on Saturday May 5th in downtown Alamosa for a joyous Cinco deMayo Celebration featuring food and drink, Spanish music and traditional dancers. View Event Poster »»
Earth Day Work Day with the RGFP - April 21st, 2018
Care for the planet and get your hands in the dirt this Earth Day! We have partnered with Alamosa Rotary Club and Milagros Coffee House to celebrate this special day by planting trees around the park, enjoying a picnic of local fare, and grooving to live music. There will be kids activities too; so bring the whole family! Please dress for the weather and wear sunscreen. View Event Poster »»View Facebook Post »»
Details: April 21st, 9am-1pm, at the Rio Grande Farm Park in Alamosa
AgriSummit Salida - April 20th-21st, 2018
AgriSummit is a 2 day-long event highlighting opportunities for networking, discussion and learning focused on local food production and agritourism in the Heart of the Rockies region. Held at Salida's SteamPlant Event Center on Friday, April 20th. AgriSummit 2018 will also include a lunch featuring local foods, an early season Farmers Market, a silent auction and a Community Open House. The day's events will be followed by a screening of the documentary film, "Farmers for America".
AgriSummit events will continue through the weekend with farm and ranch tours on Saturday and Savor Chaffee County all weekend!
Producers and Landowners interested in starting an Agritourism business as part of a diversified business model or who currently have agritourism events on their land and would like to share their model or learn how to strengthen their current agritourism activities.
Beginning Producers interested in learning more about resources and techniques for producing food in the Central CO Rockies region.
Local Food Enthusiasts interested in learning more about local food initiatives and opportunities.
Educators & Community Members interested in learning more about the role of agriculture in education.
RMFU Chapter Meet & Square Dance - April 7th, 2018
Attendees enjoyed a community Square Dance at the SLV Farmers Union chapter meeting and potluck dinner April 7th, 2018 held in Alamosa at The Barn at La Mananilla. View Event Poster »»
March SLV Local Foods Coalition Meeting - March 31st, 2018
Friends, Please join us for the March Local Foods Coalition meeting hosted by the Rio Grande Farm Park, featuring Daniel Fullmer of Tierra Vida Farm in Durango, CO. The workshop will take place on March 31st from 9 am to 1 pm at the Grizzly Inn (1919 Main St, Alamosa, CO). A suggested donation of $15-20 includes a lunch catered by the Valley Roots Food Hub.
Daniel Fullmer joins us to discuss his practices to improve soil health, sequester carbon, encourage pollinators and improve nutritional content of his vegetables. Daniel employs practices of minimal to no tillage, composting, cover cropping, rotational grazing, intercropping, and transplanting. Daniel uses no synthetic sprays or fertilizers and sold $55,000 of produce from 2 acres in 2017. Please join us to learn more about his cutting-edge regenerative techniques! View Event Poster »»
VEGI Kick-Off Fundraiser Dinner - March 29th, 2018
Join Us - March 29th at The Barn at La Manzanilla on El Sagrado Farm for Fundraising Event with Farm to Table Dinner to show your support for the Valley Educational Garden Initiative by supporting our work to provide educational garden spaces and programs for youth across the San Luis Valley! Please reserve your tickets by March 25th. Seats are limited to 25 people maximum and start at $40 per adult ticket (plus a fee for ticket service) View Ticket Info Here »»View Event End Gathering Photos »»
Tierra Vida Farm - High Production Micro Farm Presentation - March 26th, 2018
Daniel Fullmer shares his insightful presentation using raised beds and compost in the Desert Southwest with emphasis on practices of minimal to no tillage, composting, cover cropping, rotational grazing, intercropping, and transplanting. View Tierra Vida Farm Presentation »»
Gardening Class sponsored by Veteran Fields - February 17th, 2018
We invite you to attend a training class, a veteran-to-farmer transition
program to train Veterans to become gardeners, farmers, and ranchers. A tried-and-true program that really works! Join us at the SLV Education and Conference Center (formerly the Grizzly Inn) with featured guest presenter Paul Niebal, a vietnam veteran and experienced gardener-owner of Kirby House Argro. All are welcome and Veterans attend free!
Wild Seed Workshop & Walkabout - February 3rd, 2018
Community event on February 3rd, 2018 featured a Walkabout at Pikes Stockade park identifying plants and seed collecting. Donations helped fund the Wild Seed Workshop in March in support of Veterans Fields! View Event Info »»
San Luis Valley's Farm to School Task Force hosts Harvest of the Month Events alongside Food Service Directors - January 24th, 2018
In July of 2017, the LFC and several important partners received a USDA Farm to School Support Services grant to "grease the wheels" in making healthful SLV produce more accessible and feasible for Valley schools and pre-schools to procure. Since the onset of the grant the Task Force has worked with all 14 district Food Service Directors (FSD) in the San Luis Valley to begin overcoming barriers, including changes at the VRFH to lightly process vegetables, creating a Monday delivery route for schools, training FSDs in procurement through the hub's online portal, and working with FSDs to host engaging harvest of the month events in school cafeterias.
View larger press release »» of our January event in Creede, and check out the Farm to School tab in our Projects section for other press releases.
LFC Coalition Meeting & Potluck - January 11th, 2018
Join us at the Grizzley Inn at 5:30 for our SLVLFC Coalition meeting tonight featuring soil health and organic poultry production farmer Tom Delehanty. Chickens make good soil! If we raise pasture chickens (you still HAVE to feed them) we can increase the organic matter in our soil significantly - and the chickens are flushed out with greens and their meat and fat is incredible! Hoping some new folks are going to get into the poultry business in the SLV. View Meeting Info »» Learn more about Tom and Pasture Poultry at www.PolloReal.com »»