New Agrarian Voices

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





Samuel Moreno, APPRENTICE, Coulter Family Ranch

April 2023

Since I was a kid I’ve always been around agriculture, from participating in my family’s olive orchard harvest to the annual pig slaughter. I always enjoyed these experiences and dreamed about becoming a farmer someday, but I didn’t know how to connect that dream with my reality. Seven years ago, I came to the US from Spain, and my health started to decline. I have never been so sick and, sadly, so helpless. No matter what medical strategies I tried, my health continued to worsen. I decided to approach my struggle with another perspective, and started to pay attention to the food I was eating and the agricultural processes behind it. 

I discovered most of the food produced and consumed in America was completely different from what I was used to eating in Spain. So many food-like products are consumed by us without us realizing what is in them and how they were produced. 

Little by little, I have made changes and, with the support of my wife, I strive to obtain the best possible food I can, from planting our first bucket garden to regularly buying meat, eggs, and other goods from local farmers. I am thankful that today I can say my health is in a better spot. But my journey is barely starting. I am compelled to not just buy and support food systems that promote health; I want to have my boots on the ground and participate directly in the process of raising food the right way, mimicking nature. 

What I hope for this apprenticeship is to experience firsthand what regenerative ranching looks like, not only the most glamorous aspects of ranching, but the less fancy aspects too. I want to have a realistic image of what it takes to run a ranch. I want to experience living in remote rural America. I want to participate in this apprenticeship to provide a foundation for my future in agriculture. Personally, I am looking forward to the satisfaction of being able to provide good food to people who have had difficulties with food or food restrictions in the past. I hope to grow in endurance, perseverance, and how to live happily with limited resources. 

I am very thankful for the opportunity I have in front of me with the New Agrarian Program. I have quality mentors and a setting in which I know I can learn and grow. I look forward to seeing all of the transformation that will take place in my life in the next few months.

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