Welcome to Cowgirl Camp!

Beth Robinette is a fourth generation rancher in Eastern Washington State, where she and her family run a grassfed beef operation, the Lazy R Ranch, based on holistic management principles. She’s co-founder of LINC Foods (Local Inland Northwest Cooperative), a local food hub based in Spokane Washington; and she runs the New Cowgirl Camp, an intensive ranching retreat for women, and New Rancher Camp, which is for both men and women.

Shownotes:

1’45 being a kid when her family switched to holistic management methods
2’50 at moment when the calves were born in the winter and had to be taken care of in the house
4’07 Beth encouraged not to do agriculture, but came home to the ranch from college where she got interested in food systems
7’11 went to a sustainability-focused MBA program
9’00 Eastern Washington state has the potential to be largely food self-sufficient, but the supply chains aren’t there
10’36 selling to produce into institutions and to CSAs
11’35 focusing on direct-to-consumer during covid
11’49 getting food to food banks
12’52 getting institutions to buy local requires getting them to think about seasonal menus
13’36 farmers need to learn more about wholesaling, packaging, presentation, communicating
14’29 shifting her own diet to be more seasonal
15’30 making the leap–once you make it, it’s hard to switch back because the food is so good
16’27 dealing with inequality and food insecurity
17’28 food bank stressed because there’s more demand and fewer volunteers under covid
18’19 the issue of healthy food being so expensive in our society
19’42 feedback from customers and food banks
20’48 Cowgirl Camp
21’37 dad’s cohort from the original holistic training group have stayed in touch for decades
22’55 realizing that there were a lot of women who wanted to go into ranching but were having a hard time breaking in
24’09 being a woman in ranching a lot of times you’re ignored
25’12 designing a friendly entry point into ranching
25’40 don’t need a lot of physical strength to do ranching
26’46 what happens at Cowgirl Camp
27’07 seeing a steer being butchered
27’39 technical training at cowgirl camp
28’10 geared toward beginners
28’43 building confidence
29’07 animal husbandry
29’22 learning castration
29’41 learning to give injection
30’26 palpating a cow to feel the reproductive organs and the calf
31’43 building an “army of cowgirls to save the world” and connecting them with each other to build community
32’49 creating alternative ways to do ranching if you don’t have a lot of money
34’43 busting the self-sufficiency model in agriculture
35’20 looking at the interconnection among systems in which we operate, and building teams and communities
37’10 the difficult questions about how to deal with the fact that land is so expensive
37’42 different ways to fundraise for ag cooperatives
40’24 the many variables in agriculture
40’45 anybody can learn
41’07 newcowgirlcamp.com
41’40 scholarships available to cowgirl and rancher camp

Photos curtesy of the Lazy R website

How to Listen

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