New Agrarian Voices

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





Kyle Bush​, APPRENTICE, Round River Resource Management

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

I feel as though I have been peeking over the fence at agriculture for most of my life. The most vibrant memories I have of my grandfather are in his garden. The garden was gone before I appreciated it, but in retrospect it was deeply influential. I began reading about regenerative agriculture in highschool, and have followed the topic off and on since then. I never had any concept of how to actually insert myself into that world, but I was scratching around the edges of it. There was an element of service in the idea of regenerative agriculture that appealed to me, although I doubt I could have articulated it at the time.

Spending over a decade in construction helped crystalize that appeal. Many of the projects I was working on struck me as soulless, and many of them involved encroachment on natural landscapes that seemed more worthy than what I was helping to replace them with. While the physicality and problem solving aspects of the work appealed to me, a great deal of the broader social, economic, and environmental context was troubling. Many people live bifurcated lives where their work is purely instrumental and separate from the things that are enjoyable or aspirational for them. Agriculture seems to be an enormous outlier, in that regard; for many practitioners it seems less a career than a lifeway. Reading about people whose work featured the things I enjoyed in my career while also being oriented towards goals that brought value to the world at large began to speak to me in a very direct and concrete way. To my mind, this social holism is a natural extension of the holistic frameworks we talk about in regenerative agriculture. 

All of this is very abstract, and this apprenticeship is very much a test of whether the earthier realities are also something I have, or can develop, an affinity for. So far I feel like I am maintaining enthusiasm and keeping my head above water, but our calving season is just beginning and it is very early days yet. This feels like the best start I could hope for, though. Round River seems like a great operation, and I have continuously been excited to take on new tasks, encounter new parts of the property, and experience more of the seasonal rhythm of the ranch.

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