Common Standards and Labeling

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2004: $13,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Dan Hobbs
Tres Rios Agricultural Cooperative Inc.


  • Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, swine


  • Education and Training: decision support system, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, market study, value added
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, social capital, social networks, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Numerous pressures, including drought, long distances to markets and competition from corporate organic farms, are prompting many small farmers to leave the business. To counter the trend, two producer groups in Colorado and northern New Mexico have formed an alliance to develop a common set of production standards and marketing strategies that reflect their regional agricultural methods, cultural values and geography. Their standards will focus on soil management, fertility and food-handling with an oversight mechanism to assure member producer compliance. The project team plans to label their food products with a common label for regionwide brand recognition, capitalizing on their ecological production methods and efforts to provide premium, nutritious foods. Ultimately, the two groups hope to invite other producer groups in the region to participate in the program.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.