Tag Archives: Saguache

Workshop for Food Entrepreneurs


If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business that involves growing food, then here’s some news you can use. Or maybe you are already in the food-growing business but can’t seem to get the right answers about what the rules and regulations are for growing and selling food, please know that help is available.

Many fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in and around Saguache Today!

And for all of you San Luis Valley farmers, pull your head out of the seed-bag and take advantage of this upcoming opportunity to get all of your information in one session – from the experts! Next week’s Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) workshop is perfect for anyone looking to make their agriculture dreams come true in Saguache Today.

“I hope this workshop inspires entrepreneurs and help their businesses thrive,” said Danielle Trotta, Business Development Specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Workshop speakers are actively engaged in the food system, and they are excited to share their expertise with others.”

A variety of food companies call Colorado home, and the state continues to be an incubator for food entrepreneurs. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is organizing an upcoming workshop to help food and agricultural businesses get started and grow. 

Saguache is part of the major hay-producing San Luis Valley region. It is also second behind potatoes as the Valley’s most harvested crop. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, “Colorado Food and Agriculture Entrepreneurs” will be presented from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the CoBank Center for Agricultural Education in Fort Collins, Colo.

 This one-day workshop is designed for start-up businesses and producers considering a path into the food and agriculture industry. The workshop is organized to be fast-paced and packed with vital information needed to begin a food or agricultural business. The agenda includes topics such as resources for start-up businesses, business organization and finances, building a brand, working with retailers, labeling and beginning production factors. 

Guest speakers include:

  • Mike Hardin, Director of Business and Licensing with the Secretary of State’s Office.
  • Peter Mohr, Director of Operations for Naturally Boulder.
  • Dawn Thilmany and Becca Jablonski from the Department of Agriculture Resource and Economics at Colorado State University.
  • Brianne Rael with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Many more experts from state and county entities critical to establishing a food business. 

Registration is $55 per person per workshop. Registration includes the program, workshop materials, a light breakfast and lunch. Online pre-registration is required for each event, and processing fees for electronic checks and credit card orders apply. Seating is limited and space is expected to fill fast.                                                                                                                                 

For complete agendas, more information and to register, visit www.coloradoproud.org or contact Danielle Trotta at (303) 869-9176. The workshops are sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Valley Packing and Catering and Colorado State University Agriculture Resource and Economics Department.

Rich, green pastures and farmland sit at the base of S Hill in Saguache Today. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Small Business News at Chamber Meeting

The Saguache Chamber of Commerce’s first general meeting of 2019 will take place tomorrow, February 5. The evening will also feature their first presenter in the popular Chamber speaker program. Come and find out what’s new with the Saguache Chamber and hear from Tom Monaco, Director of the San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Join the fun! Join the Saguache Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Monaco has hit the ground running since becoming the new director for the SBDC in June of 2018. Over the last six months, he has traveled extensively throughout the San Luis Valley, introducing himself and the services offered through the development center.  

The SBDC is administered by the Small Business Administration whose mission is to promote the growth of small businesses by providing counseling and training services to start, sustain, and save existing small businesses.

“We at the SBDC can assist you with business planning, looking at financials and determining the value of the business, as well as looking at possible sources of financing,” said Monaco.

Come learn more about Monaco and his passion for small businesses. Find out about some of the exciting training programs and seminars he has been putting together for you to attend in 2019.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the County Road & Bridge at 305 3rd. St. in Saguache. The Chamber monthly meetings (as always) are open to the public. Please contact the Chamber at info@saguachechamber.org or call Barry at 719-322-7298 if you have any questions about this meeting or if you’d like to be part of the Chamber Speaker Program in the future.