Food for the Future
At Rock Bottom Ranch, ACES models regenerative agriculture production systems that prioritize ecosystem health, energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, land stewardship, animal welfare, and social heritage. This work occurs in an outdoor classroom that hosted over 10,500 educational contacts in 2017, where visitors learn about the relationship between food production and the health of our planet.
ACES continues to raise public awareness about the ecological impact of our daily food choices. In addition to educating our community on the impact of industrial-scale animal agriculture, ACES also explored ways in which livestock can help to maintain a balanced food system. When managed in a holistic manner, livestock are critical to the process of nutrient-cycling and carbon sequestration. To that end, ACES is leading the charge on developing models for replicable, regenerative agriculture where the production of meat and vegetables can actually restore soil biodiversity, leading to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions and increased ecological integrity.
In addition, ACES continued to improve on-site infrastructure at the Ranch, including adding a chicken “hoop coop” and two hoop-houses that have increased egg and vegetable production during the winter months. With a growing number of educational partnerships, ACES welcomed local schools for outdoor field programs, seasonal camps, and classes, including a young farmer workshop with students from Colorado Mountain College. We look forward to more visitors interacting with the Ranch through the use of our bike path extension from the Rio Grande Trail.
Rock Bottom Ranch grows over 50 varieties of vegetables with a series of sustainable, replicable, and scalable horticultural programs. Our methodical crop rotation system utilizes field space and two season extension structures to preserve soil fertility and allow us to produce nearly year-round without the need for supplemental heat. We are pursuing Certified Organic certification and our growing methods go beyond the national organic standards. We only use compost generated on-site, and never apply pesticides or petroleum-based fertilizers, starters, or charges. Navigate the menu on the left to learn more about our production systems.
Our animals play a valuable role in producing healthy food, educating the community, and sustainably caring for the land. At Rock Bottom Ranch, we strive to incorporate our animals into a system that offers them diverse forage and clean water, enriches our pasture health, and provides us with a sustainable source of eggs, wool, and meat. In the pastures, you will see variety of animal husbandry methods adapted from the patterns of nature. Rock Bottom Ranch is also home to several heritage breeds of livestock which are suited perfectly for our production system and alpine climate.
Rock Bottom Ranch is a proud participant in the Animal Welfare Approved Program. According to their website: “Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) is a food label for meat and dairy products that come from farm animals raised to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards. The program was founded in 2006 as a market-based solution to the growing consumer demand for meat, eggs and dairy products from animals treated with high welfare and managed with the environment in mind. As a program accredited to ISO guideline 65, you can trust in the AWA label while making food choices when you can’t visit the farm yourself.” It is a badge of honor to be able to place the AWA label on our meat and egg products. Click here to find out more about the Animal Welfare Approved Program.