The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Workforce Development Program (AWDP) which will provide funding to agricultural businesses to hire interns for the 2021 growing season.

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 that participate in the program may be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the actual cost of hiring an intern, or $5,000, in exchange for providing an educational experience to the intern.

To apply, qualifying agricultural businesses must complete an online application which can be found on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s website. Applications will be accepted through December 18, 2020.

Since the AWDP was created in 2018, CDA has funded 35 internships. This year, CDA will award approximately $48,000 to Colorado agricultural businesses through the program. Two important changes to the program are that interns are no longer required to be residents of Colorado, and the internship timeline is aligned with the growing season. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis as funds allow.

Applications will be evaluated by a team of reviewers, and award notices will be announced in February 2021. For more information on the AWDP, visit the AWDP page of the CDA website or contact Jennifer Benson, CDA Grants Specialist, at jennifer.benson@state.co.us.