Community Agriculture Alliance: CAA Market bridges gap between producer, consumer | SteamboatToday.com

Community Agriculture Alliance: CAA Market bridges gap between producer, consumer

Meredith Rose/For Steamboat Today

Community Agriculture Alliance

At Community Agriculture Alliance, we continue to be grateful for all of our Yampavores. A Yampavore is a person whose diet consists of food locally grown in the Yampa Valley.

Along with Yampavores, we are grateful to those who provide the locally grown food, are committed to Community Agriculture Alliance and give us a mission. These are the farmers and ranchers who sell their products through the CAA Market. Great strides have been made during the past year to connect more people to their food from the Yampa Valley. From my view, we have made local food more accessible. This has not come without challenges, setbacks and ongoing hard work from everyone on the CAA board and staff. I think we emerged from 2016 victorious.

One aspect of the CAA Market that has proven itself worthy is the connection between the farm-to-table mindset and the traditional ag producers of the valley. Customers can now buy meat

from someone who is ranching locally. This connection is essential, as it is the definition of the local food movement. By bringing traditional agriculture to the CAA Market, we are protecting a legacy and helping keep agriculture alive in the Yampa Valley.

The CAA Market is a mix of backyard gardeners, market gardeners and traditional ranchers and farmers. This unique mix is representative of the local food grown and raised in the valley. CAA continuously seeks out more producers — regardless of scale — encourages people to buy from different producers each week and entices people to try an order through the market and compare the results to the grocery store selection.

We are bridging the gap between ranchers and customers who, without this market, would not have such a strong economic connection to the area and would probably sell or buy their products elsewhere. For me, the reward is informing customers where, exactly, their meat or eggs have come from, naming the farm within our valley.

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Expansion of the CAA Market this past year has not been perfect, but we are incredibly thankful we have a community that consistently supports us through our growing pains. We are here for your needs and want to serve you as best we can, which is why we treat every order with the utmost care and attention.

Thank you again, loyal customers and producers, alike, for without you, agriculture in the Yampa Valley would look a lot different.

Some of the traditional ag producers from within the Yampa Valley that sell on the CAA Market include Elk Head Ranch, Grandbouche Farms, H Lazy P Cattle Co., Halycon Farm, Murr Made Meats, Prime Mountain Lamb Co., Sand Mountain Cattle Co., Songbird Ranch, Sunset Valley Meats, LLC, Whaley Lamb Co. and Yampa Valley Beef.

Meredith Rose is administrative assistant for Community Agriculture Alliance.