New Agrarian Voices

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





Justin Warren​, APPRENTICE, Collins Ranch

What contributes to a meaningful life and how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you explore that?
May 2024

I think to make a meaningful life, you need to find what interests you and use it to become a provider for someone. Whether that’s in your family, as a business, being a source of information or support for whomever, there’s a ton of different ways to do it. While I was in college I was becoming more interested in the quality of foods and decided I wanted to raise my family on nutritious, local foods or food that I raised myself. This grew as I began learning more about soil health and how that affects everything on top of it and I realized I wanted to provide for other people as well. On top of that, I wanted to provide the livestock I raised with a healthy, good. 

What I think is unique about this apprenticeship is it gives you the ability to learn all the basic skills of raising livestock (mainly cattle depending on the operation) but from a different perspective than a normal employee. When I learn something, I can talk to my mentor about how it impacts everything; the business, the land, the animals, and the well-being of the workers. We are also very good at talking about translating all of this to my idea of how I want to operate my farm and the impacts they could have.

What I hope to gain from this apprenticeship aside from all those basic skills, is how I can become a provider for land which will continue all the way to my family and my community. I am currently in my third week of this program and so far, I’m feeling like this is right on the path to where I want to go.

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