Cover photo for Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund

Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund

Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team

Closed November 9, 2020


The Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund has a third round of grants available, made possible by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. About $1 million is available for producers, processors, and intermediaries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open through Nov. 9, 2020. 

The COVID-19 crisis is dramatically affecting the food supply chain and the livelihoods of Colorado’s farmers and ranchers. There is a need for funding to support producers serving non-commodity markets, especially small- and mid-size growers; beginning farmers and ranchers; veteran farmers; Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color; and female and LGBTQ+ farmers — as those historically underserved by public programs will bear the brunt of the crisis’s impact.

Grants are administered by the independent Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team, a group of 14 food-systems organizations that has already allocated more than $370,000 in donor funds to producers and intermediaries in 2020. 

Grant requests must be directly attributed to the COVID-19 event. All qualifying expenses must occur / have occurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020. Qualifying expenses may include one or more of the following:

Demonstrated losses or costs:

Losses and expenses accrued in order to continue your business model established prior to COVID-19.

  • Reduced volume in sales

  • Packaging, storage, equipment

  • Equipment leases (e.g., cooler capacity, packaging equipment)

  • Labor (testing, paid time off, replacement)

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety measures (sanitation, masks, and cleaning supplies)

  • Increased marketing

  • Other

Business model pivot: 

Costs accrued to change or adjust your business model due to COVID-19.

  • Developing and/or promoting digital consumer storefront to capture online sales from local deliveries or more distance shipments

  • Beginning or increasing memberships sold in community support agriculture (CSA) model, or other direct to consumer product offerings

  • Changing crop or livestock production (e.g. value-added products to gain more value per sale or make products less perishable)

  • Increasing organizational/farm capacity

  • Other

Beyond direct funding support, the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team organizations will actively work to connect resources to producers to ensure they have the information they need to be successful. Examples include:

  • Navigating and leveraging other funding sources (federal stimulus, USDA opportunities, Small Business Administration (SBA) programs 

  • Gaining access to financial resources, webinars 

  • Doing business-model development and market analysis 

  • Finding the best options and opportunities for aggregation 

  • Finding the best options for online marketing platforms 

  • Providing access to free, online and local food systems data through the mapping tool 


The following entities are eligible to apply in the third round of the Respond & Rebuild Fund:

  • Producers: Any small- and mid-size direct-market producers, defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $1,000 and $1 million.

  • Intermediaries: Associations, food hubs, markets, and other intermediaries who sell within local and regional Colorado markets who have a history of partnering with and can provide direct benefit to producers in their network during this event.

  • Processors: Organizations processing human or animal food and/or using byproducts to create secondary products such as fuel, fiber, or other agricultural products. Other processing of agricultural products will also be considered, but priority will be given to processing of human and animal food, including processing of byproducts of food (such as hides, offal, compost, grain meal, etc.).

  • For-profit and nonprofit entities.

  • Past applicants and grantees.

Requests that do not qualify for funding: 

  • Requests for support that are unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Requests from producers with annual gross revenue less than $1,000 or more than $1 million.

  • Requests from processors with annual gross revenue less than $10,000 or more than $10 million.

  • Requests covering costs beyond December 30, 2020


Grants will be available for individual producers, covering a maximum of $12,500 for demonstrated losses/costs and/or business model pivots due to COVID-19. Processors and intermediaries and (associations of producers, farmers markets, and food hubs) may request up to $50,000. We will give priority to intermediaries that demonstrate added value to their regional food system; we intend to balance fund distribution geographically and among commodity groups to ensure Colorado’s agricultural regions (including the Front Range) receive support.

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November 9, 2020


Colorado Farm & Food Systems Response Team (CFFSRT)

Financial Instrument


Maximum Award Amount


Updated January 28, 2021

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.