Guidestone was founded in 2007 in Central Colorado (Chaffee County) to support the preservation of agricultural resources in the region and foster the development of a demonstration farm that could be used for agricultural education and training purposes. Although its original vision was modeled after Guidestone Farms (an education farm formerly operating on the front range), the name Guidestone was chosen to honor the past and present elders and leaders who have dedicated themselves to building healthy and resilient communities through the production and education of locally grown and raised food.
Guidestone is currently based out of the Historic Hutchinson Homestead, located in Salida Colorado and continues to directly serve the communities of Chaffee County with a broader focus of serving the Central Colorado region and expanding statewide efforts for the Colorado Land Link Program.
The Early Years
- 2007 Guidestone was founded as non-profit to serve the Upper Arkansas River Valley.
- 2009 marked the first season of Farmhands Youth Education Programs in the region.
- 2010 marked the first Land Link farmer/landowner match through Central Colorado Land Link Initiative.
- 2011 Board completed a strategic planning process and organizational assessment that resulted in hiring the first paid part-time Executive Director.
- Began implementing diverse fundraising strategy and organizational capacity building.
- Established Farmhands Education partnership with Hutchinson Homestead.
- Developed strategic partnerships with agricultural service organizations in the region and across the state.
- Started the Farm to School Initiative, creating a farm model with Salida School District.
- Raised over $500,000 in direct and in-kind support for local and statewide initiatives.
- Expanded Colorado Land Link Program statewide.
- Established base of operations at the Historic Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center.
- Completed 2015-2018 Strategic Planning Process.