About the Program

Young farmers and ranchers are underrepresented in Colorado’s water policy decision-making bodies, such as the Basin Roundtables, water conservancy districts, agricultural advocacy groups, local water districts, and conservation districts. As a result, the next generation of Colorado’s producers are denied a critical opportunity to help shape the implementation of Colorado’s water plan and their farming conditions, and the State of Colorado misses the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of young producers.

The decisions made around Colorado’s water resources today will impact the state’s agricultural community for decades to come. By providing opportunities for young producers to take a more active role in water planning conversations, and by providing them with knowledge and resources to educate their local peers around water issues, the Fellowship will lead to more farmers and ranchers deeply engaging in the water supply planning process.

Read more about the Colorado Young Farmer Water Fellowship here!

Applicant Qualifications and Program Requirements

Eligible applicants must:

  • Own or work on a for-profit, cooperative, or nonprofit farm or ranch, or plan to start a farm or ranch in 2020 or 2021, within the State of Colorado;
  • Be 40 years-old or younger at the start of the program (June 8, 2020); and
  • Be a resident of the State of Colorado.

Applicants who identify as being part of a community that has been marginalized or excluded from policymaking processes, such as Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color, are encouraged to apply.

What to Expect: 

Each fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend to cover the cost of their time spent in the program and running for boards or commissions. Travel, meals, and lodging for Fellowship convenings will also be covered by the program. Fellows will spend approximately 5-6 hrs a month on the program between webinars and independent work, plus one two-day kick-off and one-day graduation.

Webinars and trainings will cover: 

  •  Water planning and policy in Colorado, specifically regarding the issues most relevant to farmers and ranchers; 
  • State and federal funding opportunities for water conservation; 
  • Public water decision-making bodies and how  to run for boards and sit on such bodies, such as local water board, water conservation board, or basin roundtable; and
  • Preparation to educate and mobilize fellow farmers and ranchers towards systems change on relevant local water issues.

Stay tuned for our Fellowship announcement! Applications were due April 17, 2020. Fellows will be notified by email on May 4, and need to confirm their participation by May 18

Questions? Please contact Erin Foster West at

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