Community Agriculture Alliance: Supporting agriculture starts here with you |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Supporting agriculture starts here with you

Meredith Rose
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

We are fortunate to live in a place where you can see agriculture all around you. Compared to the urban dweller, we are living up close and personal with where our food comes from. “Know your farmer, know your food” is a saying that rings true in the Yampa Valley. You can buy from local farms and ranches and even meet your meat and purchase your vegetables within a day of harvest. The land ethic is alive and well, and agricultural producers are tending to the land and regenerating resources.

However, agriculture depends on you — the food eater. You are one in several million, but your actions drive change to a better local food system or support a globalized one. When you support local ag, you support nutrient dense meat, family farm and pasture-based eggs, and proteins from real plants.

Our valley is at a crossroads. Land is being bought up by nonagriculturalists who do not yet understand the value of having animals graze on their property. People, who do not know about our local food system, are moving into to town at a fast rate. You can either turn your head away from the living, working lands that make this valley beautiful or learn more about food production. This choice matters. Generational farmers and ranchers are depending on you. New ag producers are depending on you. Conservation practices, soil health and the local economy are depending on you.

It starts with asking yourself at the grocery store, “Where does this food come from?” and “Why don’t I seek out local food before going to the chain grocery stores?” It starts with wanting to make a change for yourself, the environment and your community. It starts with you, here, now.

As a local nonprofit organization since 1999, Community Agriculture Alliance (CAA) has taken a leadership role for local food. The CAA Market program allows you to connect to your food, shop for unique, high quality products and support your community through ag. No outside distributors or middlemen, no corporations involved and fewer transportation miles. This means you get fresh food from local farmers and ranchers who raise and grow their product right here. Even better, you can walk into the CAA Market storefront and see the variety of seasonal, changing local food. The CAA Market is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday at 743 Oak St. (corner of Eighth and Oak streets downtown). And if you want to plan, you can preorder online at to know that your weekend grilling plans will be filled with local steaks and more.

CAA coined the term Yampavore, as someone who eats food from the Yampa Valley. We invite everyone to be a Yampavore. Join the local food movement. Make a difference with your food purchases, support local agriculture and be a true local. It’s easy and with spring vegetables being harvested right now; now is the perfect time to join us and be a Yampavore.

Meredith Rose is programs and market coordinator for Community Agriculture Alliance.

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