Kevin Golz (of Emerge Aquaponics) – along with Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate and General Manager Dave Anderson – were among the farmers and local food enthusiasts who participated in a local “Foodshed Forum” on February 24 at UCCS. The event, a collaboration of UCCS, the Green Cities Coalition local food working group and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center, was aimed at defining barriers to and opportunities for expanding the consumption and availability of local food in the Colorado Springs community. It built on the work of two previous foodshed forums, the first held in 2010 and another in 2015.

UCCS agreed to play host for this year’s forum and provide resources for plan implementation and follow-through. UCCS students helped host the forum, recorded conversations and compiled reports. They also made and served unique foods featuring locally grown heritage grains. With that support as a backdrop, five different working groups spent several hours establishing goals and laying out plans and timelines for how to accomplish them. Areas of focus included Market Access, Food Access, Food Literacy, Food Policy and the future of Venetucci Farm.

The group also heard a stirring presentation by Rebecca Jewett, executive director of the Palmer Land Trust, who encouraged them to think of the entire Southern Colorado region as home and to take a keen interest in the fate of surrounding rural towns.

For more info about the ongoing effort, or to get involved with one of the working groups, e-mail lead coordinator Sean Svette at