Farmers Affected By Historic Flooding Have Hard Time Finding Aid
BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Farmers downstream of Boulder Creek had no way of knowing last fall how big the waterway would swell and eventually overflow. While the creek is back to normal, conditions for nearly 50 farmers across Northern Colorado still are not.
Farmer Amanda Scott owns 63rd Street Farm in Boulder. September’s floods wiped out the vegetables and crops that would have fed nearly 400 people.
Scott runs a community supported agriculture (CSA). She’s been feeding Coloradans with what she grows on her farm for the last seven years.
“It was very sad. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into these fields,” Scott said.
The floods cost her nearly $30,000 in damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, farmer support agencies and banks all turned down Scott’s requests for aid because she’s not a large industrial farmer.
“My jaw hit the ground, I was amazed, I was shocked, I was disappointed, very disappointed, that because I grow vegetables, nobody wanted to help us in the government,” she said.
Nearly 50 farmers across Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties face similar problems. Michael Brownlee is the co-founder of Local Food Shift, a group that helps such farmers. He says they need up to $6 million to rebuild.
“We truly have been overwhelmed, the need is huge,” Brownlee said. “We’re learning every day more about how great the need is.”
Brownlee expects produce prices to rise this year across that state, and not just for organics or locally sourced food, but for produce sold across grocery stores. He said the Colorado floods play a role in that increase.
Droughts in California are the biggest source of produce shortages.
LINK: Local Food Shift
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.
More September Flooding Stories
- Lyons Residents Vote Against Turning Open Space Into Affordable Housing
- Colorado Oil, Gas Regulators OK Rules To Limit Flood Damage
- Colorado Oil, Gas Regulators To Discuss Flooding Rules
- Colorado Considers System To Predict Fire, Flood Behavior
- Rocky Mountain National Park Celebrates 100th Anniversary
- FEMA Asks Boulder Flood Victims To Return Duplicate Payments
- Rocky Mountain Park To Repair Flood-Damaged Trails