Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails program leases 240 acres of agricultural land to local farmers, and now the board is considering shouldering some of the costs for tools, too.
Farm equipment is expensive and can be prohibitive, even as the open space program offers low-cost leases for agricultural lands.
But open space officials think an agricultural tool library may be the solution. Local farmers would acquire some of the key equipment necessary for farming — like tractors, trucks and manure spreaders — and start sharing them.
“If we want agriculture to thrive on our land, this is that piece,” said Gary Tennenbaum, Open Space and Trails director.
Local farmers would pay an annual fee to maintain the equipment, as well as a user fee.
At an Open Space and Trails budget meeting yesterday, board members agreed to consider a $50,000 grant for seed money to get the program off the ground. The open space budget still needs approval from the Board of County Commissioners.