New Agrarian Voices

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





Trent Phillips, APPRENTICE, Barthelmess Ranch

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

I became interested in agriculture at a young age. My dad’s side of the family was in citrus farming and my dad was a fourth-generation farmer, so I got to see a little bit of the operation while I was growing up. Unfortunately, due to some bad freezes in the early 2000s and a bad disease called greening, the operation slowly started to decrease and shrink its operation down. I knew growing up that working for the family business in the future would not be an option, but it was still fascinating for me to see all of the orange groves and the operation as a whole. My father is definitely the key contributor to my interest in land, animals, and just the outdoors in general. I am blessed to have had a father like him expose me to hunting, fishing, farming, and even just weekend landscaping jobs at the house. 

From this apprenticeship, I have a broad goal of just wanting to be exposed to as much as I can. The main reason I chose this apprenticeship was because of all the different skills you can learn on a ranch as well as learning about livestock, soil health, and even the business side of running a cattle ranch. Personal development is another big thing I would like to gain from this apprenticeship. Many people may not approach a job or an apprenticeship with that mindset, but with my intentions being to expose myself to as much as I can in the ranching industry means there will be many times where I must step out of my comfort zone. Doing this, over time, allows me to take steps of growth so that instead of just learning a new skill like driving a tractor, soil identification, or husbandry, I am progressing on a personal level as well. Lastly, like all apprenticeships, I am hoping to have a better idea about what career path will come through this apprenticeship. I never would have thought I would be working on a cattle ranch 2400 miles away from home, so I am very eager to see what the next career path God has planned for me is.

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