Colorado resource teaches food ecosystem

A new educational resource published by the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture teaches students about the food ecosystem. The resource is the first issue of the Colorado Reader for the 2021-2022 school year. Through this reader, students explore the concept of a food ecosystem—how human society, animal agriculture, and plant agriculture all rely on each other and work together to protect our environment and climate.

The Colorado Reader is a free cross-curricular resource designed to reinforce Colorado Academic Standards for science, social students, reading, and health using real-world, fact-based, scientific agricultural and food content that is relatable to students. It is an eight-page student activity newspaper geared towards upper elementary students and is also used by middle and high school teachers. The Colorado Foundation for Agriculture publishes up to five issues of the Colorado Reader each school year, depending on funding. The print version is directly mailed, in classroom sets of 30 copies each to 1,800 classrooms in both urban and rural communities across Colorado, representing 785 schools, organizations, and CSU Extension offices. The Colorado Readers are also available electronically in a digital flip-book format.

In this issue titled “The Food Ecosystem,” students learn that humans and the food we eat are part of an ecosystem. Animal agriculture and plant agriculture provide nearly all the products we rely on every day. Agriculture supplies raw materials used for food, fiber, biofuel, and many other nonfood byproducts. The environment and climate affect the plants and animals produced in the ecosystem. Both animal and plant agriculture production play key roles in supporting a healthy climate and environment. The content of this reader aligns with Colorado Academic Standards for third through fifth grade life science and third through fifth grade reading, writing, and communicating: reading for all purposes.

Educators may request free copies for their students by using the online store of the CFA website at The digital flip-book version is available in the CFA digital library on the website or by visiting An educator guide, video playlist, and online assessment for students has been provided to support student learning. These resources, along with past issues of the Colorado Reader, may be found on the website by clicking on the current issues page under the education center. Teachers may subscribe for free to receive all future issues of the Colorado Reader by visiting