New Agrarian Voices

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





Adam Wagman, APPRENTICE, Vilicus Farms, MT

May 2021

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by systems. Whether it be the symphony of vehicles moving around at an airport, the fall migration of birds, highway construction sites or people cultivating land to produce food, I am transfixed by the spectacle. It wasn’t until I left my very urban upbringing that I began to understand and see the larger stories of these systems and how the use and management of land lay at the center of it all. The pastoralism and agrarian landscape my college’s farm provided allowed me to first engage in agricultural practices and understand the role of agriculture in affecting society and equity. Just as in human relationships where dialogue is a key element of growth so too do the different components in an agrarian landscape need to communicate with one another.

Agriculture is a constant conversation between nature and people. It is never purely “natural” no matter how little input you have, but the beauty and growth lies within that dialogue between people and land, if we allow it. Those complexities of agriculture that occur within that exchange are interconnected with the rest of our world. Land, land practices and land access tie into every political system and can often reflect deep-rooted injustices. One of the most powerful tools for change lies within the soil.

During my apprenticeship I hope to gain a stronger understanding of how to practice land and water stewardship on a large scale and begin to be more in tune to the ever growing complexities that arise within that. One of the fascinating elements of my time at Vilicus so far is seeing the creativity involved in dealing with large tracts of land. The farm keeps growing as does the conversation about creating better systems and that has generated excitement and opportunity for those who are interested in a more equitable future for all.

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