New Agrarian Voices

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





Amelian Hahn, APPRENTICE, Sather Farm and Ranch, MT

May 2021

Animals of all kinds have always powerfully fascinated me. The easy access and proximity to domestic and working animals has narrowed my focus in on them and lead me to seek a career working with horses. I became interested about food production when my health began to deteriorate in my early 20s. I spent the better part of a year unable to speak due to laryngitis. Doctors and specialists were mystified, and prescribed anti-reflux medicines and sent my on my way. Finally, becoming desperate, I went to a naturopath specialist who did blood work and discovered that I had developed allergies to a myriad of foods I had been eating my whole life. Perplexed and barely able to believe what she had discovered I began to learn about the microbiology of our guts, and the far-reaching effects on our bodies. This in turn steered my interest towards the actual nutritional values in whole foods found in grocery stores today. As I learned about decreasing nutrient density in foods, I simultaneously was introduced to the degraded state of land on which they are grown. Words like “holistic” and “regenerative” began to appear more frequently in my home research as I delved deeper into the affects of food on the body and mind.

Here at the Sather Farm and Ranch the business is split between cattle and small grain crops so I am able to expand my animals knowledge beyond horses, while also learning the impacts of different farming practices. Jeff is actively experimenting with various protocols for improving his soils to build resiliency and increase nutritional values of products grown here. The experience of working on a farm and ranch is giving me a more diverse introduction into professional agriculture than I had previously dreamed of.

 I am keen to learn what the reality of this lifestyle entails, the daily troubleshooting, brainstorming and, of course chores. I am glad to be here during the transitional phase of moving towards a regenerative model because I am learning how to think creatively about agriculture and along side a professional farmer and rancher. I have already learned so much about both crops and cattle, and we have not yet begun planting or calving. I am doing my utmost to take advantage of the wide array of knowledge here in hopes of becoming more skilled person both personally and professionally going forward.

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