Local recruitment: CDA-Agricultural Water Policy Advisor

State of Colorado

Broomfield County, CO, USA 🇺🇸

  • Salary: $86,916.00 – $104,304.00 Annually
  • Location: Broomfield County, CO
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Job Number: BAA-00426-09062023
  • Department: Department of Agriculture
  • Division: Conservation Services Division
  • Opening Date: 09/06/2023
  • Closing Date: 9/19/2023 4:59 PM Mountain
  • Primary Physical Work Address: 305 Interlocken Parkway Broomfield CO 80021

Department Information

Who we are:

Agriculture is a part of all our lives. When you eat, put on clothes, or care for an animal–your life is touched by agriculture. Colorado’s food and agriculture industry generated $47 billion of economic activity in 2019 and supports nearly 5% of the state’s workforce. CDA is proud to be a part of such an important industry.


The CDA’s mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado’s agriculture; promote a safe and high-quality food supply; protect consumers; and foster responsible stewardship of the environment. Core Values:  Partnership, Service, Professionalism, Proactivity, and Respect 

CDA Wildly Important Goals:

To accomplish our mission, CDA focuses on four “wildly important goals:” 

Goal 1: Building Economic and Supply Chain Resilience

Goal 2: Advancing Voluntary Stewardship    

Goal 3: Supporting the Next Generation in Agriculture    

Goal 4: Promoting Animal Health and Welfare

We use these goals to focus and align the daily work of our staff in support of Colorado farmers and ranchers. Learn more about our Department and our wildly important goals in our performance plan on our website.

What you get from us: 

In addition to a great work location and rewarding and meaningful work, we offer:

  • Strong, secure, yet flexible retirement benefits including a PERA Defined Benefit Plan or PERA Defined Contribution Plan plus optional 401(k) and 457 plans  (www.copera.org)
  • Medical and dental health plans (https://stateofcoloradobenefits.com/)
  • Employer supplemented Health Savings Account ($60 per month)
  • Paid life insurance, plus additional optional life insurance options
  • Paid Short Term Disability and optional Long Term Disability coverage
  • 11 paid holidays per year plus generous vacation and sick leave accruals
  • BenefitHub state employee discount program
  • Employee Wellness program MotivateMe
  • Excellent work-life programs, such as flexible schedules, remote work opportunities, free parking, professional development and more!

To learn about the total compensation package for State government employment visit: https://www.colorado.gov/dhr/totalcompensation

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The State of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.

Learn more about our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion by visiting our EDI Homepage: https://dpa.colorado.gov/about-us/edi.   Description of Job

Organizational Purpose 
This division exists to provide oversight and coordination of the department’s efforts to protect and enhance the state’s agriculture activities as they relate to drought and climate resilience, land use and range management, conservation, soil and vegetation management, public land management, water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, endangered species, and energy development. The purpose of the unit also includes administrative and financial assistance to the 74 conservation districts: and oversight and administration of the noxious weed, biocontrol (insectary), agricultural water quality, chemigation, and weed-free forage programs. It also includes coordination and collaboration with other state, multi-state, and federal agencies.
Primary Responsibilities of the Position
This position will be a leader and staff authority advising the Commissioner on water policy and engaging with stakeholders and agricultural water users to address water supply challenges. The position would be responsible for the implementation of agency action items identified in the Colorado Water Plan. This position will be the Department’s lead working with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Ground Water Commission, Department of Natural Resources, Basin Roundtables, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Water Conservation Districts, and agricultural water users to meet water supply and quality challenges while promoting a vibrant agricultural future. This position will travel upwards of 30-40 percent of the time meeting with stakeholders and municipalities throughout the state.
Duties include, but are not limited to:
Duty: Water Policy, Research & Strategic Development
Brief Duty Description: Helps develop policy priorities and supports pilot projects to support Colorado agriculture producers and businesses in adapting to a tighter water future. 
Duties include:

  • Establish a strategic plan with objectives and actions that align with the Colorado Water Plan and other water- related initiatives being advanced by partnering agencies and associations.
  • Act as the CDA representative for the Colorado Water Plan implementation and development of future updates.
  • Help develop and provide policy recommendations and actions to CDA leadership and the Governor’s Office.
  • Conduct research on tools of water resilience for Colorado agriculture.
  • Conduct policy research and develop policy recommendation tools such as policy white papers.
  • Work in collaboration to create strategies for education and voluntary adoption of water resilience tools.
  • Serve as liaison between the Department and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
  • Support implementation of Colorado’s Strategic Plan for Natural and Working Lands as it pertains to agricultural water use in a changing climate.
  • Support existing conservation programs, including ADCRO, Salinity, and Water Quality, as needed.
  • Work closely with the Drought & Climate Specialist on various policy and research initiatives.
  • Research and provide an analysis of water issues that directly affect Colorado Agricultural production to division leadership and other CDA staff as needed to support their work.

Duty: Lead water outreach and leverage existing technical assistance
Brief Duty Description:  Act as the Department’s point of contact in Colorado Water Plan, other water-related issues, and ensure that strategic and partner-focused technical assistance opportunities for producers around the state are targeted and leveraged.

  • Work with partners around the state, including the Colorado Agricultural Water Alliance (CAWA), Master Irrigators, and others to leverage, elevate and communicate all the work, research, and pilot projects that are underway.
  • Assist the agricultural community in producer-led, place-based transitions to water-smart technology and practices, including working closely with Colorado State University, CSU Extension, and Conservation Districts, NRCS and FSA to ensure learning and appropriate technical support.
  • Work closely with the conservation and marketing teams at CDA to connect producers to new and emerging marketplaces for drought- and climate-smart agriculture.
  • Oversee any Wildly Important Goals related to water resilience, including collecting data and reporting out progress measures.
  • Partner with CWCB to connect agricultural producers with water-related grant and loan programs, such as Water Plan Grants, Water Supply Reserve Fund Grants, and CWCB Loan Program.

Duty: Represent CDA and agriculture at water-related work groups 
Brief Duty Description: Working with the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners and Division leadership to represent CDA and Colorado’s agricultural interests on water-related task forces and commissions. Duties include:

  • Ensure CDA staff are informed on relevant topics and decision-items.
  • Serve as a CDA representative at Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and Colorado Ground Water Commission meetings as well as regional meetings such as the Basin Roundtables and Watershed Meetings, per the strategic plan developed by this position.
  • Represent CDA at stakeholder events, with partners, and before the legislature and other policy officials as needed.
  • Serve as support staff to the Commissioner or their designee for the new Colorado River Drought Task Force.
  • Attend any other meetings or workgroups related to water issues impacting agriculture.
  • Develop recommendations for state and federal policy based on conditions on the ground and needs of producers.

Duty: State and Federal Drought and Climate Program Funding:

  • Develop a strategy for seeking state and federal funding, including grants, to fund activities of existing climate programs, such as soil health and ACRE3, and new programs to help Colorado Agriculture adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change and drought.
  • Write grant applications and funding proposals including developing proposed budgets and work plans. Oversee the work of a contract grant writer as necessary to apply for funding.
  • Organizes meetings with program staff and SMEs to ensure they are providing input into the strategy for seeking funds and the individual proposals that affect them or fall within a program’s work area (for example work with the Soil Health and Conservation Board programs on funding proposals that relate to their work.
  • Manages and meets deadlines grant application and funding deadlines.

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

Must be a Colorado resident at the time of application.This posting may be used to fill more than one vacancy.****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

This position is advertised in line with the Governor’s executive order focused on skills-based hiring practices that focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities specific to the job and aligns the hiring process accordingly. Skills-based hiring reduces potential barriers for applicants and allows for reduced bias in the hiring process by providing a direct description of skills that are unique to the duties assigned to the position with a recognition that the applicant may have developed these skills through education, training, or past experiences. ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Salary Range: 

$3,342.92 – $4,011.69 Biweekly
$86,916.00 – $104,304.00 Annually
Although the full salary range for this position is provided, appointments are typically made at or near the range minimum.

Minimum Requirements:

Proven Experience, Knowledge, Skills:

  • Eight  (8) years of professional experience in water policy.
    • Experience must include:
      • Water policy and working with water stakeholders and municipalities throughout the state.
      • Establishing program goals and objectives and measuring outcomes.
      • Experience with collaborative efforts at the state, local, or community level.



  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Agriculture, Business Administration, Public Administration, Environmental Science, or another relevant field. 


  • Four (4) years of full-time professional experience in water policy listed above
  • See substitutions below.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working in Colorado agriculture.
  • Experience working with western state water policy. 
  • Experience interpreting and applying rules, policy, and procedures.
  • Relevant state of Colorado experience


  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Agriculture, Business Administration, Public Administration, Environmental Science, or another relevant field may substitute for one year of experience

Conditions of Employment:

  • Must have and maintain a Colorado driver’s license to accomplish the travel requirements of this position. 
  • Circumstances may require position to work outside of regular business hours and/or overnight travel.
  • *This position will travel upwards of 30-40 percent of the time meeting with stakeholders and municipalities throughout the state*


Required Competencies:

  • Knowledge of Colorado watersheds. 
  • Experience with working with water basin policy in western states. 
  • Knowledge and experience with policy analysis and development.
  • Experience working as a group representative. 
  • Experience working with communication and planning on behalf of a state organization 
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and public speaking skills.
  • Project management skills: ability to multitask, problem-solve, prioritize, create systems and processes, and collaborate with and engage others.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and juggle multiple priorities, and able to react and adjust quickly to changing conditions.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Excellent communication skills; able to communicate effectively and articulately in writing and orally with diverse communities in all corners of the state.
  • Work well under pressure.
  • Strong relationship management skills and excellent representation of the department in community interactions.
  • A proven track record for developing and maintaining trusted relationships with stakeholders and industry experts.
  • Excellent negotiation and consensus building skills.
  • Proactive approaches to problem-solving and with strong decision-making capability.
  • Highly resourceful team-player, with the ability to also be extremely effective independently

Important Information:

Part of, or the entire selection process for this position will involve a review of the information you submit in your application materials. Therefore, it is paramount that in the experience portion of your application, you describe the extent that you possess the education, experience and competencies outlined in the job announcement as well as the special and/or preferred qualifications. Failure to include adequate information or follow instructions may prevent you from competing in subsequent measures used to arrive at a top group of applicants.

Please submit the following: 

  • Online application (completed fully) describing how you meet the minimum qualifications
  • OR If you are not able to submit an online application, a paper application is available at this link: PDF State Paper Application (Download PDF reader).  Paper applications must be received (either by US mail or email to [email protected] by the closing date and time of the application period listed on this announcement.
  • DD214 (if applicable)
  • Unofficial copy of transcripts (if applicable)

Factors that will be assessed: 

  • Technical Competence – Technical experience as it relates to the duties outlined in this job announcement.
  • Depth and Breadth of Experience – Experience that covers multiple areas outlined in this job announcement.  Experience should be varied and not one dimensional and demonstrate a wide range of community involvement.
  • Job Fit – Experience will be evaluated to determine how well your past experience aligns with and meets the business needs of this position.  Current experience is preferred.

If you receive notice that you have been eliminated from consideration for this position, you may file an appeal with the State Personnel Board or request a review by the State Personnel Director.

An appeal or review must be submitted on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative. This form must be delivered to the State Personnel Board by email ([email protected]), postmarked in US Mail or hand delivered (1525 Sherman Street, 4th Floor, Denver CO 80203), or faxed (303.866.5038) within ten (10) calendar days from your receipt of notice or acknowledgement of the department’s action.

For more information about the appeals process, the official appeal form, and how to deliver it to the State Personnel Board; go to spb.colorado.gov; contact the State Personnel Board for assistance at (303) 866-3300; or refer to 4 Colorado Code of Regulations (CCR) 801-1, State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director’s Administrative Procedures, Chapter 8, Resolution of Appeals and Disputes, at spb.colorado.gov under Rules.Supplemental Information

Important Information: Part of, or the entire exam for this position will involve a review of the information you submit in your application material.   Applications are considered complete and accurate at the time of submission. Therefore, additional information may not be solicited or accepted after your application has been received.  Therefore, it is very important that you clearly describe all of your relevant experience on the application itself. Applications left blank or marked “SEE RESUME” will not be considered.

All applications that are received by the closing date of this announcement will be reviewed against the Minimum Qualifications in this announcement by a Human Resources Specialist. Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications may proceed to the next step. Colorado Revised Statutes require that state employees are hired and promoted based on merit and fitness through a comparative analysis process.

ADAAA Accommodations: Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact by phone or email at least five business days before the assessment date to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.

The Department of Agriculture is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or to perform essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to Mary Hunt, at [email protected] or call 303-869-9006.

Toll Free Applicant Technical Support: If you experience technical difficulty with the NEOGOV system (e.g. uploading or attaching documents to your online application) call NEOGOV technical support at 855-524-5627 Mon-Fri between 6 am and 6 pm (Pacific Time). Helpful hints: if you are having difficulty uploading or attaching documents to your application first, ensure your documents are PDF or Microsoft Word files and second, close the document before you attempt upload (attach) it.

Agency: State of Colorado

Department: Department of Agriculture

Address: 305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, Colorado, 80021

Phone: 303-869-9000

Website: http://www.colorado.gov/ag





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development