The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is now accepting business applications for the Agricultural Workforce Development Program (AWDP), which provides funding to agricultural businesses to hire interns for the 2022 growing season.
“Supporting the next generation of agricultural workers, farm owners, and ranchers is critical to Colorado’s economy and our food supply chain. The Ag Workforce Development Program helps the Colorado Department of Agriculture reach its goals of providing training, education, and financial assistance to ensure the agricultural workforce continues to be an attractive and fulfilling career for young people and anyone looking to start an agricultural business,” said Jennifer Benson, Agricultural Workforce Development Program lead.
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 over 50 internships at farms, ranches, and agricultural businesses across the state. Once businesses receiving funding are selected, CDA will post a list of participating businesses so interested intern candidates can connect to businesses looking for workers.
To apply, qualifying agricultural businesses must complete an online application found on CDA’s website (ag.colorado.gov/awdp). Applications will be accepted through January 7, 2022. Applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by a team of reviewers, and award notices will be sent out in February 2022.