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AgriWest: Launching a New Initiative2024-03-26T11:18:52-06:00

AgriWest: Launching a
New Initiative

AgriWest Partners

AgriWest

AgriWest is a groundbreaking economic development initiative dedicated to enhancing agricultural sustainability and food security in Western Colorado. Our mission is to diversify the agricultural sector, create jobs, and fortify the local economy. With 40% of the region’s economy tied to agriculture, AgriWest aims to future-proof the industry against challenges like water scarcity and evolving technologies. By connecting local farmers, ranchers, and growers, we preserve our region’s heritage while shaping a resilient agricultural future.

The Business Incubator Center Announces Janie VanWinkle Awarded Fellow for the AgriWest Initiative

Janie VanWinkle has been awarded the AgriWest Fellow by the Economic Recovery Corps through the Business Incubator Center. As a respected rural voice in agriculture, VanWinkle will develop partnerships, secure funding, and promote innovative solutions for western Colorado’s agricultural needs. Her expertise will drive sustainable practices and economic opportunities across the region by facilitating partnerships and providing technical assistance over the 2.5-year fellowship. She will also receive specialized training to amplify impact and foster change in distressed communities.

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Janie VanWinkleJanie VanWinkle, a lifelong beef producer from western Colorado, brings extensive experience in land, livestock, and water management, rooted in her upbringing in rural areas along Unaweep Canyon and the Dolores River. Alongside her husband Howard, they manage 550 head of cattle in Mesa County, with their son Dean and daughter-in-law Tayler joining the family business. Holding permits on Forest Service and BLM land, and collaborating with the City of Grand Junction, they prioritize stewardship of the land, livestock, and community partnerships.
Active community leaders, Janie and Howard’s contributions span 4-H leadership, board memberships, and Janie’s presidency of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, earning recognition such as Protect the Harvest’s Friend of the Land and the Colorado Farm Bureau Who’s Who in Ag Trailblazer Award. Through their ranch, they support food security initiatives, supplying high-quality protein to families in need via partnerships like the Food Bank of the Rockies. Janie also shares agricultural insights through her column in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and maintains a social media presence advocating for responsible agriculture and community engagement.

Submit an Application
Join the AgriWest Council. Submit an application to serve alongside industry leaders and help shape regional economic development solutions. Details regarding meeting dates and cadence will be forthcoming. Application Deadline: April 22, 2025.

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