Community Agriculture Alliance: Colorado landowners have new source to search for land management services

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— The winter season is an ideal time to think about what you can do on your small acreage property to ensure that you maintain the health of your land. Consider what it will take to preserve your pastures in case of continued drought and reflect on what it took to operate and maintain your irrigation system last year.

If updates or alterations to your management approach are needed, this is a great time to put a plan together. Whether you have domestic animals or need suggestions about attracting or deterring wildlife, the Colorado State University Extension service has the tools to help you make effective decisions to meet your management needs.

We offer publications, fact sheets and landowner site visits to ensure a deeper understanding of what is best for your property. Efforts to plan your summer activities during the winter can help you maintain healthy pastures that have fewer weeds, understand ways to reduce soil erosion, promote healthier water quality in rivers because of less runoff and leaching, manage livestock more effectively and recognize what is needed to maintain defensible space from potential wildfires.

Additionally, CSU Extension offers an avenue for landowners to connect with local contractors through our new landowner services database. If you or your business serves small acreage properties, then consider submitting your company to the online searchable database developed by CSU Extension and the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Small Acreage Services Database is a dynamic online tool that enables landowners to search for land management products and services available in a given region of Colorado. Searchable topics include grass seeding, fencing, livestock, forestry, specialty crops, equipment, weed control and soil nutrition. This program empowers landowners to find local resources, contractors, equipment and services by county. Think of this as an online contact book for local products and services specific to agricultural opportunities.

To sign up online, visit our website at http://sam.ext.colostate.edu.

Membership is free and opened to any business, organization or individual in good standing that grows, buys or sells products and services that will benefit small acreage landowners as they work to improve and manage their land. No endorsement of named products is intended, nor is discrimination or criticism implied of products mentioned or not mentioned. There is no cost to submit your company to the database.

As this database is populated, it will be a great tool to connect landowners with contractors in order to implement these activities on the land. If you need help making a plan or would like more information, visit our website, call the Routt County Extension office at 970-879-0825 or contact me, the small acreage coordinator, at 970-243-5068, ext. 128, or jrizza@colostate.edu.

John Rizza is the Western Slope small acreage coordinator for CSU Extension.

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