New Mexico Water Fellowship

About the Program

With drought, limited water rights, and ever-dwindling water supplies in New Mexico, young producers struggle to access the water necessary to start a farm or ranch. The water boards that shape the management and use of water at the state and local level have few members who are young farmers, women, and people of color. These producers will be managing land and water in the future, and the decisions water boards make now will impact agriculture for decades. 

The New Mexico Water Fellowship is designed to address this gap by preparing 10 fellows to step into leadership positions. This educational fellowship will guide a majority-BIPOC cohort of 10 young farmers and ranchers towards leadership positions in water across New Mexico. The fellows will participate in a series of 9 virtual webinars and one in-person gathering (dependent on local and state public health guidelines). Through the fellowship, participants will receive training on state water issues, develop their leadership skills, and connect with fellows and leaders across New Mexico who are passionate about water and environmental justice. By the completion of the fellowship, participants will lead a project partnering with a local or state water or environmental justice organization, and seek a position on a water decision-making body. 

The application period is officially closed for the fellowship.

Applicant Qualifications and Program Requirements

Eligible applicants must:

  • Own or work on a for-profit, cooperative, community, or non-profit farm or ranch, or plan to work on, manage, or own a farm or ranch in 2022, within the State of New Mexico
  • Be at least 18 years of age and not over 40 years-old at the start of the program (February 17, 20222) 
  • Currently live in New Mexico

The final cohort will be a majority-BIPOC, and we encourage applicants to apply who identify as being part of a community that has been marginalized or excluded from policymaking processes – such as farmers who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, LGBTQ+, immigrants.

If you’re not sure if you qualify, please reach out to us at .

What to Expect

  • A $2,500 stipend to cover the cost of your time spent in the program and running for boards or commissions. 
  • 6 online webinars in February – April
  • 1 in-person retreat in May 
  • 3 additional webinars in October – December

Outcomes for the Fellowship

  • Learn about water law and policy
  • Develop your leadership skills
  • Step into a water leadership position and run for a water board
  • Create a project to benefit other young and BIPOC producers with a local water organization

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