Trevor Nielson

General Manager

Bear River Canal Company


Trevor Nielson is the general manager of the Bear River Canal Company (BRCC) based in Tremonton, Utah. BRCC is the largest single entity irrigation company in the state of Utah irrigating 65,500 acres of crop ground and bird habitat. The footprint of the BRCC service area is about 15 miles wide and 30 miles long and runs from the northeast stem of Great Salt Lake following the Bear River Delta Valley to just shy of Idaho border. To accomplish this task, Nielson and his staff of 10-12 employees maintain and operate 5 main canals and 5 lateral canals totaling 124 miles of conveyance channel. These main canals feed several hundred miles of additional farmer operated irrigation ditches. The company pulls its water from the Bear River and has storage water contracts in Bear Lake.

In 2019, he was appointed to the Utah Water Taskforce. At 30, he was the youngest appointee in taskforce history. This group is a body that helps develop, debate, and refine water bills before they go before the legislature. He is known for his staunch and sometimes outspoken defense of agricultural interests, existing water right holders, and prior appropriation water doctrine. As a water system operator, his water policy positions focus on making proposed legislation match physical and operational realities.

Trevor is the son of a mechanical engineer and farming father and homemaking and civil servant mother. As his father’s primary employment was at the local power plant, from the ages of 12-18 he was the primary operator of his family’s farm in the little central Utah town of Leamington. This is where he found his love of water. He graduated from Utah State University with three degrees: Bachelors of Agribusiness (2014), Bachelors of Business (2014), and Masters of Applied Economics (2017). He spent 6 years in academic research working in water nutrient leaching and nutrient management. He has also worked for agricultural industry leaders across the United States. These include: Ag Reserves (cattle), Calaway Agriculture (hay crop exports/custom harvest), and Cal-Maine Foods (egg production).





Why We Care

  • I grew up in Clinton, Utah, not far from the Great Salt Lake. From a young age the lake became a place of recreation, discovery, and solace. Every visit to its shores provides a unique and inspiring experience.

    Justin Wheatley, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant