Project Spotlight: Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project

Hide Featured Image

In 2021, the Division of Local Government was proud to support the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project with a $150,000 Rural Economic Development Initiative grant to the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments. The project is focused on documenting and regenerating the apple orchard industry in the four corners area through improved and effective agricultural practices, regional promotion of produce and products, and shared resources and facilities for apple growers to expand this important agricultural resource to the area. Leaders of the project believe there is an urgent need to help area farmers plan for future water shortages, and that now is a timely opportunity to demonstrate innovative orchard management practices as they assist the region to rebuild a resilient fruit economy.

These grant funds went toward the construction of a building on the grounds of the Montezuma Orchard to provide regional support for product storage and processing. This project primarily expands and stabilizes the existing orchard industry, and projects paying farmers up to $160,000 for their current unused product by year five of the project. Training and consultation from this group has helped launch two orchard pruning businesses, and this project indirectly helps to increase heritage agriculture tourism in the area, which is anticipated to grow, and will also support employment in hospitality and service sectors in the area.

Show Post Date