Meet DNR’s New Agriculture Program Manager: Noah Bates

Noah Bates, DNR Agriculture Program Manager

Noah Bates, DNR Agriculture Program Manager

For my first contribution to The Dirt, and as a new agriculture program manager, I thought that I’d provide an introduction. I am a recent transplant to Washington and based in Olympia. I moved here with my wife, Alexis. Prior to this position, I lived in a small town of about 1,200 people in the mountains of northwest Colorado where winter lasted eight months and subzero temperatures were common, but the spring and summer always made up for it. I was based in a rural NRCS field office in a “Partner” capacity tasked with implementing the NRCS’s Sage Grouse Initiative. I provided rangeland management support at the field level to deliver technical assistance to private land owners and ranching enterprises. Prior to this, I worked at a ranch in Gunnison, Colorado, as a natural resource manager. From my work, I developed a love of sagebrush steppe ecosystems and grass hay and livestock production in mountain environments – this is what I know best.

Before working in natural resources and agriculture, I earned a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado, and worked as a land use planner with city and county governments in the state. The county government I worked with had a robust open space and agriculture program that inspired me to return to school to further my education. I focused on rangeland ecology initially and then found a program that offered a Master of Science in Integrated Resource Management through the Western Center for Integrated Resource Management at Colorado State University. The program was a good fit for my interest in technical application to rangeland management, agriculture enterprise, and regional planning.

I am excited to work in my current capacity for the diverse agricultural enterprises that Washington supports and the natural resources, habitat, and wildlife issues that are associated with these enterprises. I also look forward to being involved with generating revenue and building value for the Common School Trust and other trusts for which DNR manages agricultural lands. I think it is a good fit for the skillset and knowledge I’ve built up over the years and I look forward to putting it to good use for DNR and Washington producers.

Please consider this an open invitation to contact me any time to introduce yourself. I’d really appreciate the opportunity to learn about the issues in your area and how I can best support your work and business in my current capacity. I enjoy being in the field, and welcome any invitations to learn first-hand.

By Noah Bates, Agriculture Program Manager,, 360-902-1873