ILE has established a mini-grant program to encourage inquiry, problem-solving, and capacity building related to livestock production and environmental management and stewardship. The goal of this program is engage stakeholders and to promote programs that increase livestock productivity while strengthening environmental management and stewardship. The ILE mini-grants are intented to support smaller, local projects developing best practices and reducing environmental impacts from animal agriculture.
Last year, ILE launched a new Mini-Grant program and awarded a total of $10,000 to three groups.
Water Quality Improvement at Sylvan Dale Ranch
ILE has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, Big Thompson Watershed Forum (BTWF) and Northern Colorado Ecosystem Market Initiative to conduct a pilot program testing the use of a natural vegetation zone to buffer run-off from livestock pens into waterways. This project fits into ILE focus areas of enhancing water quality and ecosystem health.
Tax Credit Connection, Inc./Bountiful Conservation
This ILE mini-grant went to Tax Credit Connection, Inc. for their directory, Bountiful Conservation which helps farmers and ranchers with conservation easements connect to local consumers. The goal of the project is to improve the economic exchange for both parties while encouraging conservation stewardship. Bountiful Conservation .pdf
The Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) is hosting research sessions, funded by the ILE mini-grant awarded, to discover the adoption rates, costs and barriers implementation of best management practices for ammonia emissions. Ammonia emission are implicated in ecosystem changes on the east side of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Participants of these meetings include representatives from beef, dairy and swine production sectors. The result of this mini-grant project will be to develop a survey tool that can be deployed across the state in cooperation with CLA, Colorado Pork Producers Council, Colorado Dairy Producers, Colorado Farm Bureau, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Corn Growers and the Rocky Mountain Agribusiness Association.