Funding Available to Ag Businesses Seeking Interns in 2024

Students and volunteers planting raised beds at Good Enough Farm. (Photo courtesy Loveland Youth Gardeners)

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s (CDA) Agricultural Workforce Development Program (AWDP) is now accepting applications from businesses looking to hire interns in 2024.

“Colorado agriculture producers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with those looking to get into agriculture,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “Through paid, hands-on internships and stipends to the businesses, we’re helping to create opportunities to develop the next generation of farmers and ranchers and support their entry into future agricultural careers.”

The AWDP provides financial incentives to Colorado farms, ranches, and agricultural businesses to hire interns and provide them with the hands-on training needed to begin a career in agriculture. Qualified businesses may be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the actual cost of hiring an intern, up to $5,000, in exchange for providing an educational experience to the intern. Since the program was created in 2018, CDA has funded more than 130 internships at farms, ranches, and agricultural businesses across the state (36 in 2023 alone).

To apply, qualifying agricultural businesses must complete an online application found on CDA’s website (ag.colorado.gov/awdp). Applications are open now and will be accepted through January 5, 2024. Applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by a team of reviewers, and award notices will be sent out in February 2024.

Once businesses receiving funding are selected, CDA will publish a form for interns who are seeking an internship, so interested intern candidates can connect with them. Internship applications will be open in early Spring 2024.

There will be a virtual informational meeting with a Q&A session about the Ag Workforce Development Program on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 2 p.m. MST. The meeting is free to attend, but you must register to receive the Zoom link. If you are unable to join the live session, you can find the recording on the AWDP page of the CDA website after December 11, 2023.

For more information on the AWDP, visit the AWDP page of the CDA website or contact Joanne Hernandez, CDA Grants Specialist, at joanne.hernandez@state.co.us.

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