Sitting in the newly built Confluence Theater in CSU Spur’s Hydro building, one might reasonably think that water is the subject most discussed in the location. And while it certainly was a key part of the conversation, Colorado’s water took a back seat to the main topic at hand during two sunny days in September 2023: soil health.
From all corners of the state, high schoolers converged in Divide, Colorado to learn about natural resource conservation in a week-long immersive Camp Rocky experience. Throughout the week, 31 campers delved into the world of resource stewardship, learning about the importance of protecting and preserving our environment.
The Colorado STAR soil health program is expanding to an estimated 300 producers, with the addition of 21 Conservation Districts and 7 eligible entities to the list of STAR Plus administrating entities. Funding for this expansion comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Climate Smart Commodities (CSC) grant, which invested $3.1 billion in 141 projects across the country. CDA was the only state department of agriculture to be selected as a project lead on a CSC grant.
By Acres U.S.A.
The second regional Colorado STAR event took place on Friday, Feb. 24, in Rocky Ford, Colorado. Partners in the event included Acres U.S.A., the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the West Otero Timpas Conservation District.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is now accepting applications from Colorado’s conservation districts and other eligible entities interested in administering STAR Plus grant funding to agricultural producers who expand or introduce soil health practices in their operations. Improving soil health, a key component of responding to the effects of climate change in agricultural landscapes, can improve available soil moisture, reduce agricultural runoff, decrease erosion, and support more productive, nutritious crops.
Written by Mendy Stewart, Education Coordinator for the Shavano Conservation District
In October 2022, despite snow and cold, local farmers and soil health enthusiasts gathered to see Rick Strait’s demonstration on water infiltration.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has finalized the grant agreement to significantly invest in Colorado’s STAR program for soil health.