New Agrarian Voices

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





Gillian Healey​, APPRENTICE, Veebaray Ranch

How did you get interested in agriculture? And what are you hoping to gain from your apprenticeship?
May 2024

My initial interest in agriculture came from a desire to build a life around working outside with livestock. I grew up on the central coast of California where there is a farmers market to attend every week of the year. My family took advantage of that opportunity and where our food came from, what was in season and how it was produced was always talked about. My parents always had a garden of their own, so I grew up being able to walk into my backyard and spend hours eating cherry tomatoes off the vine. I believe this food awareness and appreciation for how it arrived at my table, set the foundation for the path that I am on today.

It was during summer working at a pack station in the Sierra Nevada that my mind turned toward a job in which I could be outside, working with livestock year round. This is where my upbringing of knowledge and awareness of local food sources collide with my love for animals and the outdoors. Being able to dedicate my life to an industry working towards raising nutritious food while benefiting the land at the same time seemed worth a shot to try to find my place in. This apprenticeship is an opportunity for me to begin learning about all the areas of knowledge that go into raising successful healthy livestock in flourishing productive ecosystems. I look forward to getting hands-on experience and beginning to find where I can be of greatest service in this industry. It is also a time for me to determine if I want to go back to school, and if so what program I would complete my bachelors degree in. There are countless practical and conceptual skills I hope to gain from my time in this program, but in the big picture it is a chance for me to discover and explore my strengths, weaknesses, and specific interests to pursue in the future.

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