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Community Agriculture Alliance: Get to know the people behind your food

Meredith Rose
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Think about those special moments when you have food. Whether it be watching someone blow out candles on a birthday cake, carving a turkey for Thanksgiving, or eating a peach in the summer with juice dripping down your chin.

All those memories are connected to working lands.

Farmers and ranchers are working day in and day out, with no holidays off, so you can cherish those moments. When we think back to times of happiness our first thought is often about the people that were there, not the people in the background. 



Here’s an introduction to some of the people in the background, right here in Routt County.  

Michelle and Colby Townsend of Hayden Fresh Farm are raising free-range chickens and pastured pigs. Noah Price and Sydney Ellbogen of Mountain Bluebird Farm are growing delicious seasonal vegetables using no-till practices and a focus on soil health. Courtney Lynn, manager of Home Ranch Farm, is growing vegetables at 7,000 feet in North Routt in a greenhouse. Davey Baron, at Sand Mountain Cattle Company is raising grass-fed red angus cattle.



With the landscape covered in snow this time of year, it’s easy to forget about agriculture and where our food comes from.

The CAA Market, a program of Community Agriculture Alliance, hosts products from all the aforementioned producers and many more. The Market is open year-round and serves as an indoor farmers market where anyone can come in and shop for delicious local food and products. With almost 60 local producers and hundreds of products, there are more stories to tell, more faces to know, and more local food to eat than I can include in this article.

If you’ve never stopped by the CAA Market, I strongly encourage you to check it out. And if you already shop at the CAA Market, thank you, and tell your neighbors and friends. Buying local food allows you to connect to your food by knowing who grows and raises it. Customers not only shop for unique, high-quality products that aren’t available at the grocery store, but provide direct support to our local farmers and ranchers, who are working the land.

What do you have to do to support these amazing people and local ag? The answer is simple – eat local food. That’s the CAA Market’s mission.

We want to create more Yampavore’s (people who eat from the Yampa Valley) and keep agriculture vibrant in the Yampa Valley. It’s as easy as walking in our door. We’ll take care of the rest! The CAA Market Store, 743 Oak St. in downtown Steamboat is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

You can also browse our online selection of local food and products at CAAMarket.org. Through the website you can pre-order and pick up your items the following week at the CAA Market store. Everyone is welcome, so what are you waiting for? Take the leap to eat more local food and be a Yampavore today!

Meredith Rose is the Community Agriculture Alliance Program Coordinator


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