New Agrarian Voices

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





Dunbar Mecklin, APPRENTICE, Veebaray Ranch

April 2023

I associate meaning with work towards something greater than the individual. I believe sustainably managing the land we live on is intrinsically tied to the common good. I think land stewardship allows one to be a part of a whole, and, in some ways, something more long lasting and greater than one’s self. I am not necessarily putting the environment on some pedestal as something holy, rather I seek to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with it. I think that by reconciling agriculture with the natural/historic ecology of the land in question, such as through managed grazing, I can help preserve and restore land. Despite not owning or in any way being truly tied to the property which I have helped steward, I feel heavily invested in its ecological well being. I want to spend my free time picking up trash that blew in from the highway or hay string that froze to the ground. I want to add that extra electric cross fence to exclude a grazing-sensitive area from a paddock. I also feel a sense of pride in seeing new and diverse plant growth sprout up after the cattle have removed last year’s thatch and left behind some fertilizer.I believe this apprenticeship will give me a more comprehensive understanding of how to sustainably steward the land and more skills to do so. Consequently, this apprenticeship will allow me to pursue a meaningful life.

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