Posts from July, 2009
The State of the Rockies Project will be heading out in the field from July 6th until July 13th. The focus of our summer research trip will be agriculture in the Rockies, and we’ll be visiting family farms, large corporate farms, non-profit organizations, dairy operations, and the Malpai Borderlands Group. One van and 1700 miles through New Mexico and Arizona!
Watch for our “Notes from the Road” to hear more about the trip. First stop on Monday: the Javernick Family Farm (Canon City, Colorado) and the Quivira Coalition (Santa Fe, New Mexico).
Monday, July 6th
The group had a great experience meeting with Javernick Family Farms, and Beckie gave the student researchers a tour of their operation, discussing their experience with farmer’s markets, Community Supported Agriculture, and organic certification. The students asked questions about the local organic grower’s associations and the challenges of keeping the small farm in the family. Weed control was a major issue at the farm given the moisture this spring, requiring much volunteer labor and creative solutions (plastic tarps for the tomato plants).
Next stop was the Quivira Coalition in Santa Fe, where the group met with founder Courtney White. Courtney discussed the issues related to grassbanking, conservation easements, and public-private land partnerships. He also emphasized the importance of economic sustainability and Western beef production, not simply land sustainability. Quivira offers direct marketing of grass fed beef, as well as river restoration and range management courses. Courtney provided the students with new perspectives on climate change, fossil fuel challenges, and ranch carbon footprints.