Delta County carries long and rich historical ties to agriculture. Aside from mineral extraction, agriculture has been a key economic industry for the county. Delta County is ideal for agriculture based on its climate, soil, and culture. This is why Delta County is home to a wide variety of agricultural operations, and some of the most innovative farming in our country. According to an agricultural census, 77 percent of Colorado’s apples, 71 percent of Colorado’s cherries, and 53 percent of Colorado’s pears are grown in Delta County. Delta also presents economic opportunities for value-added agricultural products. For example, the proliferation of wineries and vineyards have not only presented opportunities for production, but also increased agriculture-based tourism.
The Rogers Mesa research site is located near Hotchkiss, Colorado. The site was a part of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station’s Western Colorado Research Center, and was closed for fiscal reasons in June 2011. When opened, this site was used for research on fruit trees, grape production, forage crops, and alternative crops. CSU operates a skeleton crew to maintain the property at approximately $50,000 per year. The goal of our study is to identify feasible options for use with the property within the year so that CSU officials can make a decision on the future of the property.
In spring of 2014, Colorado State University (CSU) placed its Rogers Mesa research site, which is located in Delta County, under review for potential development and repurposing. Rather than selling the property, CSU and Delta County opened up discussions with community members and organizations to determine opportunities in addition to research for future use of the site.
Current partners involved in this discussion include:
- Colorado State University
- CSU – College of Agricultural Sciences
- CSU – Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station/ Western Colorado Research Center
- Delta County
- Delta Conservation District
- Delta County School District
- Delta-Montrose Technical College
- Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning, Inc.
- Delta County Economic Development
- Valley Food Partnership
Delta County is taking the lead as the primary fiscal agent for this feasibility study project.
To view the Request for Proposals (RFP), please visit the Delta County website: http://www.deltacounty.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/1176[wpfilebase tag=file id=214 tpl=download-button /]