New Agrarian Voices

Learn about the impressions and experiences of each year's cohort of apprentices in their own words.





Stevie Joy Bulman, APPRENTICE, Schultz Ranch, Montana

May 2022

As a young girl, I took it to heart when my father told me I could do whatever I wanted with my life if I put my mind to it and worked hard enough. That same young girl wanted to be a farmer just like him. I loved riding in the tractor as he planted crops or in the semi-truck when he took a load of grain to the river, soaking in every word of wisdom or story he had to share. I found myself working for local dairy farmers through high school, and it brought me so much purpose. Making sure calves were fed and healthy, and that cows were milked and happy was my life for almost three years. Even though it was undoubtedly one of the greatest loves in my life, I didn’t think I would pursue being a farmer or anything of the sort. I lost my dream of being like my dad. I spent a lot of time dreaming and working towards different paths I could take in life, a cosmetologist, a career in finance, dairy science, a baker, the list goes on and on.

My interest in agriculture started at a point so early in my life I can’t even remember, however, the realization that it is what I am meant to do is one of late. I suppose it has been staring me straight in the face for a long time. Nothing brought as much joy and purpose as growing watermelons to eat, raising pumpkins to sell, working on dairies, taking care of animals, making connections and sharing information with consumers, or simply just spending the day on my family farm. It took me some time to figure out that the only thing I was willing to fight for in a career was to be in agriculture. Maybe it is just in my blood but I believe it is God’s calling for me to take care of his earth and creatures in this way.

I know I will never have all the answers and that no one ever will, but I hope I can keep learning and adapting new practices so that I and those who come after me will become better and better stewards. After my first few weeks at the Schultz Ranch, I’ve learned a lot, mostly that this midwest farm girl doesn’t know much. I love learning and I know these next months I spend here will be filled with many opportunities to do so. I hope to gain more knowledge on different grazing practices to direct marketing beef. Along with knowledge, I am looking forward to gaining new experiences and meeting new people.

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