Montezuma School to Farm project looks for 2013 funding

Dear Editor:

The Montezuma School to Farm Project (MSTFP) has been transforming the way students and schools look at food and local agriculture through school gardens, farm field trips, and summer camps for the past three years.

Students are showing incredible, life-changing benefits from these educational programs – getting hands-on experience with water and soil conservation practices, eating more fruits and vegetables by growing and harvesting their own food that is then served in their school cafeterias, and actively being mentored by local farmers and ranchers – the future of our food supply. These programs are foundational and invaluable to the health, vitality, and future of our communities in Montezuma County.

In the past year, MSTFP has more than doubled its’ educational hours from 4,000 to 9,000. An average of 348 students visit the gardens for instructional time each month. In Dolores, over 200 pounds of produce has been harvested in the past 6 months.

We have expanded our already established school gardens in Mancos and Dolores to include collaboration with the City of Cortez Recreation Center where we installed a children’s garden on the premises to serve summer campers and Cortez student populations.

We are a strong program that continues to grow and evolve with a solid volunteer base and excellent community partnerships with producers, educators, and local businesses. In addition to this, we have been awarded an Americorps VISTA Volunteer for 2013 – 2016 to support our evolving programs.

In the past, MSTFP has been supported by grants from LiveWell Montezuma and the Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) through the Mancos Conservation District. This year, CSCB available funding was drastically reduced and the MSTFP did not receive grant support for 2013.

We are currently seeking further funding opportunities as well as asking for tax-deductable donations from private donors like you to help us cover this gap in funding for 2013. Your tax-deductible donations can be made to the Montezuma School to Farm Project by check and dropped off at the Dolores State Bank.

We thank you for your support. Your contribution ensures that Montezuma County students will continue to receive this invaluable education from our experienced School Garden Coordinators, Erin Bohm and Megan Tallmadge, as well as from our local farmers, ranchers and community volunteers.

Montezuma School to Farm Project