AGRICULTURAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PILOT PROGRAM

BACKGROUND

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s (NMDA) Agricultural Workforce Development Pilot Program (AWD) offers incentives to the state’s agricultural businesses to hire interns.  The AWD Pilot Program is intended to provide hands-on educational opportunities for students aspiring to careers in agriculture, as well as young or beginning farmers and ranchers. 

The AWD Pilot Program is the result of legislation (House Bill 315, the Agricultural Workforce Development Program Act) passed and signed into law in 2019. 

Agricultural business operators and potential interns, please read carefully the information below and follow all instructions before submitting an application.

STEP ONE:
AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES APPLY TO NMDA

Please note: NMDA will not match agricultural businesses with potential interns.

An “agricultural business” means a business of a food or agricultural nature, including agricultural production or processing.  NMDA will reimburse qualified agricultural businesses up to 50 percent of the actual cost of hiring a qualified intern, not to exceed $5,000 per internship. 

For internships that will occur in the remainder of FY 2020 (between December 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020), the period for agricultural businesses to apply is from October 31, 2019 to February 28, 2020 or until funds are fully awarded.  NMDA will award funding to agricultural businesses based on a) their compliance with program requirements; and b) funding availability.  Funding for 19 internships is available for FY 2020.

An agricultural business may request funding to hire as many as three interns per year.  Preference may be given to agricultural businesses that have not been awarded an internship already.  Within 15 days of receiving an application, NMDA will notify the agricultural business whether it was selected for AWD Pilot Program funding or not.

Agricultural business operators, please read the Agricultural Workforce Development Pilot Program requirements carefully and follow all instructions before submitting an application.

To avoid submitting an incomplete application, agricultural business operators should follow these steps:

  1. Download the business application to your computer
  2. Complete the application and click save
  3. Attach to an email the application and a line-item budget (a budget is required; you may follow this sample budget if you wish)
  4. Send the email to AWD@nmda.nmsu.edu

STEP TWO:
STUDENTS, YOUNG/BEGINNING FARMERS AND RANCHERS APPLY TO NMDA

Please note: NMDA will not match interns with agricultural businesses.

Students and young or beginning farmers and ranchers, you may submit an intern application to NMDA only after the agricultural business you intend to intern with has submitted its application to NMDA, and NMDA has approved that business’s application.  In other words, business applications must be approved before a corresponding internship application will be reviewed. 

To avoid submitting an incomplete application, potential interns should follow these steps:

  1. Download the intern application to your computer
  2. Complete the application and click save
  3. Attach the application to an email
  4. Send the email to AWD@nmda.nmsu.edu