Brightwood Farms: A grant story

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Dean and Susan Vidal, who run Brightwood farms, recently hosted interns Christina and Nina through the Ag Workforce Development Program (AWDP), which provides financial incentives for both employers and interns. Christina comes from a background in farming, having spent time helping in an orchard on her parents’ land in Grand Junction.

Brightwood Farms: a younger woman holds a calf on a lead rope inside a barn with an older male farmer watching.

Through hands-on learning of regenerative ag practices such as incorporating composted manure and minimal soil disturbance, she now has the background and experience to participate in transition planning discussions about Orchard and Specialty Crops land use. Nina takes her knowledge of growing and harvesting small-scale fresh vegetables back to her tribal nation to support improved health and food access for her community.

Their daily activities with Brightwood Farms gave both women an intimate understanding of small farm operations that included livestock and vegetable production and set them firmly on the road towards sustainable agriculture practices in their future endeavors. 

“Participating in the AWDP reaffirmed our appreciation for the contribution of thoughtful, hard working interns, even if inexperienced at the start.” - Dean and Susan Vidal, Brightwood Farms 

Brightwood Farms: a female farmer in a greenhouse using machinery is being watched by an older farmer.