Grant Family Farms goes out of business

WELLINGTON — After more than six decades in business, Grant Family Farms has closed its doors, having filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after struggling financially for several years.

The 2,000-acre farm — started in 1953 by CSU professor Lewis Grant and his son Andy — shut down on Dec. 28, the day that it filed for bankruptcy court protection.

“We are completely shut down,´ said Meg Bucklin, the farm’s membership coordinator and one of the handful of employees remaining to help the farm work its way through the process. “There’s really no one hardly left.”

Bucklin said she and other employees were told about the possibility of the bankruptcy filing about two weeks ago, shortly before Christmas.

At least 50 or more people were laid off as a result, she said, including field and packing shed workers.
Bucklin said she thought there might be some effort at restarting the farm at some point, but under a different name.

The farm blamed a series of misfortunes on its bankruptcy.

“Despite all best efforts to the contrary, and along with many other organic farmers in the United States, Grant Family Farms … has been struggling financially over the last several years,” it said in a press release Saturday. “Ineligibility for crop insurance coupled with millions of dollars in damage from hail storms and drought — not to mention a massive spinach recall — has left the farm in a financial situation that it’s been unable to overcome. As a result, on Dec. 28, Grant Family Farms declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy.”

Its release also mentioned the possibility of some sort of resurrection. “Grant Family Farms is confident that some things are worth saving – and believes that this community-supported farm is one of them. The farm is working hard and is hopeful that it will emerge from this disappointing situation better than it went in.”

In business for 61 years, the farm was the first Certified Organic Farm in the state. Its owners also were instrumental in helping Colorado create the process of organic certification and developing the laws that emerged as a result.
As it acknowledged in its release, just what might be in store for the farm is very much uncertain.

“At this time, Grant Family Farms is hesitant to offer any specifics with regard to tomorrow. It can say that beyond Chapter 7, nothing is set in stone — and it is important to the farm that it doesn’t churn the cogs in the rumor mill.

“But, please know that the farm’s CSA members and community will be the first to know when there is any additional information to share. The farm is as hungry for conclusions as the community is for answers — and it will continue to keep information posted in the timeliest manner possible. The farm anticipates speculation from a variety of sources, but wants the community to know that this is the voice of the Grant Family, the Farm, and the CSA team.”

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