New Agrarian Voices

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





Hannah Mae Miller, APPRENTICE, Land of Grass, Montana

May 2022

I have been circling around agriculture and ranching for years. Always close to it, but never quite allowing myself to be fully immersed. I was intimidated by the mountain of skills and knowledge that stood between me and actually being in ag. I spent a lot of time at university focused on the theory side of the theory/praxis binary, and have been trying ever since to bridge the dichotomy in my personal and professional life. There are few things as steeped in praxis as agriculture. I want to pursue ranching because it touches everything. It is an embodied work. It exists at the dense intersection of the social, environmental, biological, political, etc. 

Quivira’s apprenticeship program was exactly what I had been seeking, indirectly and directly, off and on, for some time. An apprenticeship is a commitment to learning through doing, but also a commitment to a relationship with a mentor. Mentorship is one of the most valuable resources both in personal and professional development. Right away, I saw that Lisa was an incredible teacher with a deep well of experience and skill and that if I could, I would want to learn from her. 

Now that I am here, I know that I have made the right choice. I am committed to learning, to admitting what I do not know and being sure of what I do. I intend to gain and enhance my skills and experience working with livestock and all of the pieces that go with that. I also am excited to learn so much about the business side of things. Getting to see the way Lisa works, her philosophies, her questions, and to watch her put her whole self into the thing she loves to do has given me a deep appreciation for ranching and agriculture. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t learned something. So far, this apprenticeship has exceeded my expectation of, and desire to, learn and implement new knowledge and skills. 

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