Colorado Department of Agriculture Climate-Smart

Climate-Smart Soil Health Initiative

About This Project

Colorado’s Strategic Plan for Climate-Smart Natural and Working Lands, published June, 2023, identified “priority actions across Colorado’s landscapes to increase carbon sequestration, reduce emissions, and create a climate resilient Colorado”. The Strategic Plan presents priority strategies, with details on implementation for various land types, including Agriculture – Croplands and Rangelands. Working with the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Markets and Conservation Services Divisions, Brandwerks was selected to develop a strategic plan that would lead to, and implement specific marketing efforts.


This was a significant project including interviews with supply chain partners (producers, processors and retailers) and consumers. In consumer focus groups we learned that there is already a good awareness of, and importance of soil health practices. But we wanted to focus on the benefits, and also purchase motivations. Through our proprietary benefit laddering tool, we learned that “collaboration”, leading to “connection” provided the optimum benefit path and greatest opportunity for the communication strategy’s key messaging. Our recommendation to the Department: Any communication directed to consumers should focus on the deeper, altruistic benefits of climate-smart soil health practices. Messaging should not be technical, but instead, connect consumers emotionally to agriculture, demonstrating the positive “on-the-ground” efforts farmers and ranchers make to grow and produce food – and the shared responsibility we all have to protect Colorado’s farming and ranching culture.


Summarizing all learning, we provided the Department with specific recommendations for marketing objectives and strategies to help them with their marketing plan.

Research, Strategic Planning