Boulder County manages cropland for the long-term. The purpose of the Cropland Policy is to link the goals of the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan with the operational activities of Boulder County Parks & Open Space staff.
Boulder County Parks & Open Space’s vision is to be a national leader in sustainable agriculture. The Cropland Policy sets forth the policies and practices that define sustainable agriculture on Boulder County open space lands.
Cropland Policy Updated
On November 30, 2016, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a plan for phasing out genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant crops on county-owned agricultural land. The final GE Transition Plan and the updated Section 6.1 of the Cropland Policy were adopted and signed on April 13, 2017.
- Cropland Policy
Sustainable Agricultural Research & Innovation Initiative (SARII)
On November 30, 2016, the BOCC also directed staff to pursue the created of a Sustainable Agricultural Research and Innovation Initiative center. On February 2, 2017, the county issued a request for proposals (RFP) to prospective vendors and contractors asking them to submit plans for developing and managing an agricultural research center.
The RFP period closed on March 28 and the county received two proposals, one from Rodale Institute in partnership with Colorado State University and one from Mountain High Research. While both proposals contained some elements envisioned for the agricultural research center, neither provided the necessary combination of experience in running a research center, appropriate staffing and institutional support, or a research plan with a scope to compare a full variety of production methods. Therefore, based on the proposals and subsequent vendor interviews, staff did not have confidence that either bidder could fully deliver what was requested in the RFP.
In order to advance this project, staff will make refinements and add specificity to the proposed project and quickly issue a new RFP this month. The release of a second SARII RFP will initiate a new process that will be open to all bidders that meet its listed requirements. Both previous bidders will also be welcome to submit proposals in response to the new request. In the meantime, county staff will manage the Haley property—the proposed site of the research center—until a contractor and manager is chosen for the project.