A Blueprint for Regenerative Agriculture in Colorado

Regenerative agriculture is one of our best defenses against excess carbon in the atmosphere. Our crowdsourced policy platform delivers a comprehensive strategy to promote and expand regenerative agriculture in Colorado. Explore below the key highlights! 

Our Recommendations

  1. Fully Fund CDA’s STAR and STAR Plus Programs

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s STAR (Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources) and STAR Plus programs play a pivotal role in evaluating and supporting soil health. STAR evaluates soil health, while STAR Plus helps farmers and ranchers implement regenerative practices. Our platform recommends expanding funding for these programs and ensuring broader support for farmers and ranchers looking to adopt regenerative practices.

  1. Statewide Soil Health Program

Colorado’s agriculture landscape has the potential to be 100% regenerative. Inspired by successful models like the Healthy Soils Challenge and Restore Colorado, our platform suggests a statewide program. Funding options include a 1% fee on food and beverage sales, voluntary business participation and potential federal support.

  1. Investment in Working Lands

“Working lands” refer to cropland, grassland and prairie that play a crucial role in farming. We want these lands to keep working for us, providing food and sustaining our environment. Our platform suggests applying conservation principles to working lands for regenerative agriculture and renewable energy projects.

  1. Infrastructure and Equipment Investment

To help the transition to regenerative practices, our platform recommends investing in infrastructure and equipment. This includes support for research stations, matching grants for equipment purchases and subsidies for soil health testing.

  1. Biochar Remediation

Biochar is a valuable resource created by heating organic materials like wood, crop residues or even food waste without much oxygen. Biochar increases soil fertility and acts as a carbon trap. Last legislative session, HB 1069 was passed to study biochar. Our platform suggests expanding on this work by implementing programming based on the findings of this study.

  1. Tax Incentives for Restaurants Supporting Local Agriculture

To promote local regenerative agriculture, our platform recommends offering tax credits to restaurants that purchase ingredients from Colorado-based regenerative farms.

  1. Regenerative Agriculture as an “Advanced Industry”

The platform proposes defining regenerative agriculture as an “Advanced Industry” to make it eligible for funding from the Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) Program. This strategic move aims to establish Colorado as a global hub for innovation in regenerative agriculture.

The Regenerative Agriculture section of our policy platform presents a roadmap for transformative change in Colorado’s agricultural landscape. By embracing these recommendations, policymakers have the opportunity to not only combat climate change but also foster a more sustainable and resilient future for agriculture in the state!

To get involved in advocacy or the creation of next year’s policy platform, join The Coalition or reach out to the Director of The Coalition, Jolie Brawner.