On this page you'll find documents, links, and tools on topics relevant for young and beginning farmers in Boulder County. Browse the page on your own, search the site, or choose from the categories below.
Please get in touch if you have ideas or resources to add to this page.
Boulder County Farms
Boulder County is full of farms old and new, practicing a broad range of agricultural techniques and stewardship. We are all fortunate to be part of such a diverse and vibrant foodshed.
Open List & Map of Boulder County Farms
Click to view our Google doc.
This list may not be comprehensive. We LOVE to feature new farms and young farmers on this list! To add a farm or make a correction, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success.
NYFC is our parent organization. Their website is full of great publications, tools, and ideas about how to move agriculture in America into the next generation. When you become a member, you get access to more resources and great discounts to seed, farm supply, and workwear companies. Your membership also means that our chapter can be fiscally sponsored by the national organization.
Farm Work & Careers
We can specifically list positions here when appropriate, and we often feature recently opened positions in our email newsletter or Facebook group.
If you have a position to offer through our channels, please email us.
Learn what you need to do to start employing folks on your farm.
Become an Employer
To look for local jobs, we recommend checking the websites of the farms on our list. Many farms start searching for interns and team members in early winter, so be sure to check around November-December to get ahead of the curve.
Agricultural Jobs Sites
These jobs sites offer different kinds of jobs, internships, and apprenticeships. CSU Extension offers positions for professionals and researchers.
Agriculture is a broad and deep field with many aspects, ideologies, and practices. In this section, we offer what we have experienced as useful, helpful information, especially in our region.
Colorado State University Extension
Colorado State University's Extension Service provides services, research, and information for small-acreages, large-scale farmers, and backyard growers.
FYFC Workshop Recordings & Resources
Our goal is to provide notes and documents from each of our farm tours and workshops. We are just starting this process, but hope that what you see here is useful.
NYFC Publications & Tools
NYFC has spent years producing high-quality publications for new and beginning farmers, on topics from organic certification to food safety practices. Check them out!
This little library lists members' favorite or most useful books, magazines, websites, podcasts, conferences, courses, and more.
Joining a good organization in your chosen field is a great way to find workshops, courses, conferences, and more educational opportunities that are useful to you.
The USDA offers multiple tools for young and beginning farmers, as well as established operators. Colorado's ag department also has information and resources.
Land Access in Boulder
There are many ways to access land in our county. We focus on leasing opportunities for young farmers who may not yet be ready or able to purchase land.
Tools for Private Land
Sometimes finding a good private land lease is as simple as making a Facebook or Craigslist post. Other times, you'll need help. Use these tools to start the process.
Colorado LandLink, offered by Guidestone Colorado
Tools for Public Land
In Boulder County, agriculture on public lands, and some regulation of private agriculture, falls under the purview of the County department of Parks & Open Space (POS). Depending on location, it may also be governed by the City of Boulder's Open Space & Mountain Parks Division (OSMP). OSMP and POS collectively manage and lease hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands. Properties come up for bid and farmers participate in the bidding process to win a lease - join each organization's mailing list to be updated about available properties. Both agencies also have management plans for agriculture on open space that are available for you to read.
City of Boulder OSMP
Ag Leasing Page: Sign up here for updates on properties available for lease and to see results of previous bids.
Boulder County POS
Main Ag Page with projects and information.
Ag Leasing Page: Sign up to get notifications about County properties up for bid.
Farm Loans & Capital
It can sometimes feel like you could never save enough money to buy or start your own farm. While farming, you may need help, whether to purchase equipment, build infrastructure, get through the slow season, or to weather a bad year.
Farmer-focused loan programs and grants can help!
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
The FSA offers multiple loan types, and can help with a down payment, purchasing a farm, or operating expenses.
Visit the FSA Loans Page
NRCS EQIP Grants
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) earmarks funds and training for conservation practices through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Projects include high tunnels, cover cropping, energy improvements, drip irrigation, and more. There is a separate fund for certified-organic or transitioning farms.
NIFA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) offers grant funding to organizations supporting beginning farmers and ranchers.
Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally (SOIL) is a local Slow Money group that pools investor donations and offers 0% loans to farmers and food industry innovators. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Colorado Agricultural Development Authority (CADA) Beginning Farmer Program
CADA helps young farmers get low interest rates on their loans. Through the issuance of a tax exempt bond by CADA to the lender, all interest paid by the borrower is tax exempt. The result is an interest rate to the borrower below commercial rates.
Colorado water law and use is, to say the least, complicated. Each year, FYFC hosts a Water Bootcamp to help young and beginning farmers understand how to use this most important resource. Get started learning about Colorado water with the publications & organizations below.
Boulder County Ditch & Reservoir Map, from Boulder County. Identify your nearest ditches.
Ditch & Reservoir Directory, from St. Vrain & Lefthand Water Resources District. Contact info for ditch operators.
Western Water page from NYFC. Tons of resources including guidebooks, case studies, videos, and presentations from past water bootcamps.
Small Acreage Irrigation Guide from CSU Extension and NRCS. Informative, clear publication about irrigation & water rights.
Citizens' Guide to Colorado Water Law from Water Education Colorado. History, law, and current practices.
St. Vrain & Lefthand Water Conservancy District
SVLH is the keeper of the ditch and reservoir directory for Boulder County. Their Resources page includes many other publications and tools.
CSU Extension Water Fact Sheets
Topics from water quality to irrigation.
Colorado Division of Water Resources
Data and mapping tools, important state publications, well permitting, streamflow data. The site is somewhat difficult to navigate.
Water Education Colorado
Citizens' Guide to Colorado Water Law from Water Education Colorado. History, law, and current practices.
There are many businesses, nonprofits, and creatively structured groups in the county that support young farmers, a strong food system, and more.
The list below is only a few.
Boulder County Farmers Markets
BCFM organizes and regulates farmers markets in Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, and Denver. Administers programs to help low-income people afford market produce.
Boundless Landscapes converts lawns into microfarms with the leadership of teen farmers. They run a CSA model and farm stand, and donate remaining food to food relief organizations.
Growing Gardens’ programs teach gardening, cooking, and nutrition education. The gardens donate thousands of pounds of produce, as well as plant starts and seeds, to low income community members.
Larimer County Farmers Alliance
LCFA is the NYFC-RMFU chapter for Fort Collins and northern Colorado.
MadAg is a local nonprofit that hosts events, advocates policy change, and pushes for carbon storage in agriculture. Their mission is "To reimagine and restore our relationship with Earth through agriculture."
Mile High Farmers
Mile High Farmers is the NYFC-RMFU chapter for the Denver Metro Area.
People and Pollinators Action Network
PPAN is a local nonprofit working to develop pollinator-safe neighborhoods, businesses, and cities through voluntary pledges to end the use of neonicotinoids, local and state legislation, and educational events.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
RMFU has been in Colorado for more than 100 years. They work to provide members with tools to be profitable, to build better futures, and to have a voice that is heard by policymakers. Our local chapter is the St. Vrain.
Slow Food Boulder
Slow Food's mission is to support local farms and food businesses, educate our community about accessing, preparing, and enjoying local, seasonal food, and to create events and programs that build community and food traditions.
Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally (SOIL)
SOIL is a local Slow Money group that pools investor donations and offers 0% loans to farmers and food industry innovators. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; donations of $250 (or just $25 for farmers) or more give membership and one vote.
Here is a live document containing resources at both the local and national level that an help members through COVID-related challenges.
Corona Virus Farmer Resources
Topics include: Community Tips, Relief Funds and Financial Support, Food Safety and Worker Safety, Health and Wellness, and other learning resources.
We act to stand in solidarity with BIPOC communities. In order to fight for equity in farming, we must fight for equity for all. While there is no clear and easy path to dismantling racism and oppression, it is clear that we must each start somewhere. It is essential that we not only educate ourselves as individuals, but actively join together in community to engage and raise our anti-racist consciousness.
NYFC Racial Equity Toolkit
The National Office released a toolkit to enable organizations and individuals to learn about and strive for racial equity within their work
Mile High Farmers Solidarity Statement
Written by the Mile High Farmers Alliance and supported by Mile High Farmers, Larimer County Farmers Alliance, Flatirons Young Farmers Coalition, and BronzeVille: Black and Brown Growers Collective
4 Not So Easy Ways to Dismantle Racism in the Food System
Written by SoulFire Farm, this resource provides graphics and statistics demonstrating inequity in the food system, as well as recommendations for resolving them.
Other Readings, Podcasts, and Websites
An incomplete but accessible list curated by our Community Committee's Racial Equity Discussion Group. Email us if you'd like to join the discussion group!