In 2021, the National Western Center joined with the Santa-Fe-based Quivira Coalition to expand Quivira’s New Agrarian Program in Colorado.
The New Agrarian Program is an apprenticeship program in which skilled ranchers and farmers across the West partner with Quivira to host annual apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Apprentices are immersed in professional settings at livestock and large-landscape operations to learn from these expert practitioners.
In spring 2021, the National Western Center and Quivira Coalition will hire a grant-funded, full-time position to expand the program to ranches and farms in northern and central Colorado.
The New Agrarian Program specifically targets first-career professionals with a sincere commitment to life at the intersection of conservation and regenerative agriculture. With the national average age of U.S. ranchers and farmers approaching 60, and with less than two percent of the U.S. population currently dedicated to producing food, it is critical that the next generation of food producers and land stewards have sufficient training opportunities.
Apprentices from the program in Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, California and southern Colorado have gone on to hold a variety of roles critical to the future of healthy working lands and food systems.
The National Western Center’s food system vision lays out a regenerative food future for Colorado. It puts forth approaches for realizing that vision, including many that align with the goals of the New Agrarian Program. They include: securing the state’s agricultural working lands, ensuring their successful succession and transition, and scaling the adoption of best practices in agriculture. We believe our partnership with the Quivira Coalition can help advance the regeneration of our state’s environment, while supporting rural economies.
Photo credits: Alexis Bonogofsky (top banner), Minesh Bacrania (top right)
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