New Agrarian Voices

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





Lauren Beshears, APPRENTICE, Veebaray, Montana

May 2022

I have always loved anything to do with animals – raising, training, feeding, healing, or simply observing.  When I was growing up I believed this love would lead me to become a veterinarian, and initially that is the path I chose in education.  After a couple years of getting my pre-vet school requirements fulfilled, I realized that while I still wanted to have a life deeply involved with animals, I also was interested in the idea of owning my own land and actually partaking in the overall management of livestock, not solely the medical aspect.  I finished my degree in Animal Science and also completed enough welding classes in community college in order to be able to support myself while building a base to start my own operation from.  The last several years have been a combination of welding to pay the bills and further my education while transitioning to spending more time working directly in the cattle industry so that I can have enough knowledge and experience to eventually run my own operation.

As I began to learn more about methods to ranch successfully and profitably, I consistently heard about various regenerative practices – soil health building, fitting the livestock to the operation instead of the other way around, and overall considering different ways to do things in order to make an operation a success.  My main incentive for applying for an apprenticeship through Quivira was to find a position that would provide not only hands-on experience, but the opportunity to slow down, ask questions, and place a real emphasis on learning (not only achieving a set task as quickly as possible).  The chance offered through Quivira to learn about all aspects of successfully running a regenerative agriculture business – from budgeting to high intensity grazing, from marketing to animal husbandry – appealed to me on every level.  My long term goal is to own and operate a grass-finished beef operation.  However, having already made a few inquiries into the starting process, I know that there are a lot of mountains to climb – financial, environmental, etc – to achieve this goal.  I plan to use this experience to develop a solid, thorough foundation for myself to build my future on, while at the same time using my work ethic and passion for constant improvement to be the best possible asset I can be to the ranch I am working for.

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