New Agrarian Voices

Marcos Baez, APPRENTICE, Round River Resource Management, CO

First Month Reflection

Regenerative agriculture has become a great passion of mine, and it has filled my life with purpose to create positive change and to do work that is meaningful and very much needed. In retrospect, I have been longing to live a life working outside, connected to nature and the land that surrounds me. Nevertheless, the pursuit to building a life around regenerative agriculture has been a long journey, and there is still plenty more to go in order for me to achieve my goals. I am confident that Quivira’s New Agrarian apprenticeship program will provide me with the confidence, tools, and knowledge that I require to reach my desired goals in agriculture.

Growing up in the capital city of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, I spent most of my weekends up in the mountains where I would spend my days on horseback or ATVs exploring the countryside. I would fantasize about being part of great cattle moves as seen on western movies, and this would plant a seed inside of me that would lay dormant and sprout many years later. Being part of a city family that has been removed from anything involving agriculture for many generations, an agrarian career, or lifestyle was never seen as a viable option to pursue. I allowed myself to be taken by the momentum of life, and found myself years later working long hours in a cubicle for a large corporation. For many, I was on track to have a successful, promising career, but deep inside I felt unfulfilled and wasted.

In an effort to escape the life I foresaw myself having, I started to research about the topic of homesteading and raising your own food in a healthy, humane way. With current practices and how capital-intensive it is to run a conventional agriculture farm, I knew it was not for me. So I decided to find alternatives, which led me to discover regenerative agriculture and to learn about successful practitioners. I found the works of Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, Andre Voisin, Greg Judy, and many others and spent the next two years consuming all the information available on the topic, while saving money from my corporate job which allowed me to find some land and make the jump.

Four years after a lot of learning and experimenting in regenerative agriculture, I have decided to find a mentor who will provide me with the confidence and technical skills that I am lacking. I have found that I am deeply passionate about grassland ecosystem management that takes into account the whole system. Now I am working to gain the skills required to holistically manage and regenerate extensive tracts of grasslands, while running a profitable business that affords me my desired quality of life.

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