March 21 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Rio Grande Farm Park Education Center, Alamosa, CO
March 22 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Jones Farms Organics in Hooper, CO

Registration is free. Lunch will be provided on both days.


We’re excited that this year’s summit is being co-hosted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and is being expanded to two days. On day one, organizations will share their work to support local food systems and land stewards in the San Luis Valley and other regions of Colorado. Participants will learn how they can plug in, and brainstorm with each other about where future projects need to focus to meet ongoing needs. 

Day two will be spent visiting Jones Farms Organics in Hooper, CO. It is a 4th generation, family owned organic potato, heirloom grain, and cover crop farm located in the beautiful San Luis Valley of Colorado. They are passionate about nutrient dense soil and pride themselves on the sustainability of their farming practices. They have recently become the first Regenerative Organic Certified farm in Colorado. Join us to hear their story.

Our annual summit offers a welcoming and creative space where we build relationships that help us respond collectively to shared challenges. This year, we will explore how projects in the San Luis Valley and beyond contribute to enhancing working lands.

We have a limited pool of funding to support producers with travel and lodging costs for this event. Please indicate if you would like to access these funds in your registration form.




Day 1
Subject to change

9:30 a.m.

Welcome and introductions

9:45 a.m.

Maclaine Sorden, Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Transition to Organic Partnership Program

10:15 a.m.

Breakout Session – connection and integration

11:00 a.m.

Rio Grande Farm Park tour with Meg Mercier, San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition

12:30 p.m.


1:15 p.m.

Jocelyn Catterson, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Trust: The Agricultural Resiliency Fund: Collaboration and Community Impact

2:00 p.m.

Melanie Kirby, Institute of American Indian Arts: Poeh Povi – Indigenous Matriarchs Supporting Pollinators

2:30 p.m.

Breakout session – connection and integration

3:15 p.m.

Jae Sanders, San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition: Community Food and Agriculture Assessment Findings

3:45 p.m.

Breakout Session

4:30 p.m.


5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Food and drinks with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Day 2

10:00 a.m.

Introduction and tour of farm from Jones Farms Organics, Hooper, CO in the San Luis Valley

12:00 p.m.


12:30 p.m.

MAD Agriculture presentation/discussion on organic financing and their work with Jones Farms Organics

Tanner Starbard, MAD Agriculture

Tanner (he/him) grew up amongst the citrus orchards and ephemeral creeks of Ojai Valley, near California’s central coast. Working with the land on a small ranch and adventuring through the native oak groves and orange orchards helped him foster respect and joy for nature—in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, and especially where they intersect. His degrees in Ethnic Studies and Environmental Planning and Management each supplement his history and his vision for creating businesses that are a source of food for people and the planet. As the Director of Mad Lands at Mad Agriculture, Tanner works with farmers to create resilient and productive farmlands and enterprises. With a view that agriculture functions best with consideration for the dynamics of soil, water, plants, and people—where all parts of the system work to support one another—he believes that by using ingenuity and planning to connect tradition and knowledge with modern technology and science, we can keep farmlands productive and profitable.

Clark Harshbarger, MAD Agriculture

Clark (he/him) has worked deeply with natural resources over the last three decades in a multitude of diverse landscapes, cultures and ecosystems. Prior to joining the team at Mad Agriculture, he was a soil scientist for the USDA NRCS for 17 years, as well as the manager and caretaker of a land based business for another three years. Through his experiences, he has learned that by listening to the land, we can discover the answer to the question “What does this place want to be”? His role at Mad Agriculture as the Director of Stewardship is to help producers think holistically along their journey to answer the reciprocal question, “What does this land need me to be”?

1:15 p.m.

Rodale Institute presents on Organic Market Development

1:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Q & A and closing

Registration has closed. Please contact CJ Ames at 505-393-1622 for more information.

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