OUR VISION: A regenerative and nourishing food future for Colorado — reuniting urban and rural lives and livelihoods from soil to supper.
Our vision began in 2020 as an entry for the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2050 Food System Vision Prize, but has expanded far beyond those bounds. Through conversations with Coloradans, we’ve put forward a vision that starts and ends with people. It will require many things to be successful, including funding and partners. We’re building a statewide network of people in various food system roles who believe these four approaches can deliver a more positive food future:
CULTURAL INTERDEPENDENCE & INTEGRATION
We believe food drives connection, connection drives respect, and respect fosters community. The National Western Center and its network will reestablish connections to the people and places where our food comes from, bridging the urban-rural divide and inspiring a sense of pride in local food culture.
ECONOMIC STABILITY & REDISTRIBUTION
The National Western Center and its network will invest in next-gen ag workforce development; cultivate new market opportunities for Colorado producers; root ag innovation in rural, regional hubs; and support new food infrastructure across the rural-urban continuum.
NUTRITIONAL EQUITY & ABUNDANCE
The National Western Center and its partners will help drive the equitable production and distribution of nutrient-dense and culturally-relevant foods through urban and rural communities, making inequity in food access and food security a thing of the past.
Our vision has an explicit focus on soil and water health. By 2050, the past decades of degradation to agricultural lands, soil, water, air quality, and native habitat will be reversed and a virtuous cycle of waste reduction and regeneration will bolster our resilience to climate disruption.
This 2050 food system map illustrates our ideal future state, and what needs to happen to turn vicious cycles into virtuous ones.
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