New Agrarian Voices

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





Rachel Stolzfus, APPRENTICE, Round River Resource Management, CO

May 2022

Hey! My name is Rachel Stoltzfus and I am currently an apprentice for Round River Resource Management in Rush, Colorado. Between the two ranches leased by Round River, they in total practice holistic management on 75,000 acres and graze both a cow/calf and yearling herd. 

Growing up on a small ranch in rural Pennsylvania, I was born into agriculture as a way of life. My mom managed the cattle and marketed beef while my dad ran the welding and equipment repair business, all while us kids raised pigs, lambs, and steers for the 4-H county fair. From the two of them came my love for agriculture and the desire to pursue a higher education and career in livestock production. 

I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Animal Science, Business Management. I planned on pursuing a career in the beef industry and, after completing a summer internship in the midwest, I fell in love with the western culture and open range. Ranching in the west to generate food for consumers while maintaining a healthy ecosystem and creating an operation that values the public’s education is now where my focus lies. With a background in the beef industry, and work experience on ranches, a dairy, horse farms and the foreign live cattle trade, I am beyond excited to have this opportunity to continue my education in holistic management with Round River Resource Management. 

Through my apprenticeship, I hope to learn what regenerative agriculture looks like on a large scale. Size of operation is often the limiting factor when I have had conversations with ranchers considering trying rotational or adaptive grazing ideas. My mentor at Round River, Louis Martin, does not shy from implementing these principles on thousands of acres with thousands of head. I am especially interested in the process of grazing riparian areas and how to successfully allow a more diverse seedbank using cattle density. In addition, I plan on shadowing my mentor in the office, as paperwork tends to be the necessary evil to most ranches. Having a taste of everything a ranch requires to stay profitable and successful will make me more well-rounded and I am excited to take on the rest of the apprenticeship.

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