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

REFLECTIONS AFTER THE FIRST MONTH
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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