California Political Leadership Fellowship

The National Young Farmers Coalition envisions a just future where farming is free of racial violence, accessible to communities, oriented towards environmental well-being, and concerned with health over profit. We believe farmers, ranchers, and land stewards can contribute to the transformation of society. Though we have inherited an economic system designed to maximize profits, we structure our farms to feed our communities. Motivated by the looming climate crisis, we farm for collective resilience. Despite farm policies that exclude us from participation, we organize and persist. In carving out spaces for ourselves to plant, cultivate, nurture and feed, we are uniquely positioned to advocate for and change policy to create this transformation.

About the Program

The California Political Leadership Fellowship recognizes that political power and leadership can flow from the contours of community strategies that are emerging to address local needs. The Fellowship provides a space to build that power and develop the political leadership necessary to ensure those who have been most marginalized from policy making processes, have agency in determining their future. By taking the time to nurture a small and diverse group of young leaders, we believe we will build power among young farmers and long-disenfranchised communities of color.

The Fellowship is designed to address representational gaps and inequities through an educational fellowship that guides a cohort of young BIPOC-identifying farmers towards strengthening their confidence, skills, network, and leadership in local, statewide, and national policy advocacy and grassroots organizing. By encouraging and providing young farmers with the space and resources to activate their own creative action projects, organize their local communities, build intentional relationships with their fellow peers, grow their network of activist-farmers and understanding of organizing within government and beyond, this fellowship supports young farmers to take action towards improving their own livelihoods and further engaging in agriculture organizing that centers racial justice.

Check out this video about the first year experience of the CA Political Leadership Fellowship. Learn more about our last year’s cohort and now our alumni by checking out where they are in CA and what they are up to since the fellowship.

What to Expect

Selected fellows will join a 10-month program wherein they will complete 120 hours of programming and independent work, a $7,500 honorarium for their time in the fellowship, and on-going coaching and 1:1 support.

Fellows selected will join a 10-month hybrid program beginning January 2022 and will:

  • Complete a total of 120 hours of majority virtual programming as well as independent work
  • Receive $7,500 honorarium for their participation
  • Connect with guest speakers across sectors working for racial justice
  • Attend three virtual and in person retreats
  • Get 1:1 coaching and ongoing support
  • Co-lead at least one workshop
  • Develop a creative action project

Who Can Apply

BIPOC aspiring farmers and ranchers from all backgrounds and identities. We especially encourage and will prioritize applicants who are: BIPOC, queer, womxn, disabled, immigrants, and/or veterans. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

Applications are closed for the 2022 program

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