New Agrarian VoicesLearn about the impressions and experiences of each year's cohort of apprentices in their own words.
Ronit Glasgow, APPRENTICE, Sather Farm & Ranch
REFLECTIONS AFTER THE FIRST MONTH
Agriculture is pretty much where my interests and philosophies in life pointed me to. It definitely took me a while to get there, because I was not exposed to much agriculture as a kid. Just the occasional garden or being part of the local vegetable CSA. I didn’t talk to farmers, I didn’t know how the food system worked, all I knew about farming was that keeping plants alive was harder than just planting the seed. I had no idea what soil was (vs. dirt). What I did know earlier on was that: I was going to have a job that I loved, a job that was life, I cared about the environment (and wanted to “fight climate change”) and didn’t like being a consumer, and I liked animals. At that time, I was a picky eater (with vegetables and meat), and I thought climate change was the end of the world and there was no point trying to change it.
This all slowly evolved. I became less interested in cute animals, though I still liked large animals. I became less picky about food tastes, and then very picky about food sourcing. I got really into climate change and became vegan before shrugging climate change off as maybe-not-such-an-emergency? And I realized that soil was key. I had made a point to take time “wwoofing” and had a blast farming and ranching. I loved being that much closer to my food, I liked working outdoors, and of course, those variables were confounded with the fact I was no longer in school. During covid, I reflected and decided that cattle ranching and being involved in regenerative agriculture was the way to go. Here I am.
I want to like it. I want to be part of my own food system, I want to have fun working, I want to be intellectually engaging “with nature”/land management. This year I want to be enjoyable, and I also want to focus on learning/practicing practical skills. I’ve identified ways in which what I want to do or learn might not happen on a “more regenerative” ranch and am excited that at the Sathers I will be automatically learning a lot because the farming is so new to me (e.g., endless hours in a tractor? Making sure the equipment doesn’t fall apart?) and that they are doing a lot of experimenting and “regenerative” things. So I’m just an apprentice, I’m hoping to gain skills that will make me a more capable employee, engage in learning about the soil/land, and figure out my next step.
Coulter Family Ranch, Montana
Barthelmess Ranch, Montana
Mannix Ranch, Montana