SAN LUIS VALLEY— Last month, Sallie Clark, the state director of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) visited Colorado Quinoa. First Southwest Community Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit (FSWCF), applied on behalf of Colorado Quinoa for the USDA Rural Business Development Grant.
The Rural Business Development Grant, issued through the United States Department of Agriculture, is an extremely competitive grant. Applications for the grant must demonstrate economic need in the area, job creation and consistency with local priorities.
The grant was awarded this summer, and with the grant money, Colorado Quinoa plans to hire seven new full time employees, increase processing capacity safely and efficiently, expand their online sales, and research more sustainable and efficient agricultural practices.
The New Family brought Quinoa production to North America, and Mosca in 1982. Because quinoa uses between 30 to 50 percent less water than most other crops, the arid desert and high elevation of the San Luis Valley is a unique location for quinoa production, much like its South American origins of Bolivia and Chile. In 2015 the New family and White Mountain Farms partnered with Rockey Farms to create Colorado Quinoa. With steady growth, Colorado Quinoa is ready to expand sales beyond the San Luis Valley.
For more information on this grant and potential 2019 grant opportunities, please contact First Southwest Bank’s Community Development Director, Roxanne DeMarco, [email protected] As always, funds are subject to Congressional approval.