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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Mitchell Robert, APPRENTICE, Ranney Ranch First Month Reflection There are three core values that have led me to become an apprentice at Ranney Ranch: increased access and awareness to healthy foods for all as a right, not a privileged; sustainable and holistic land...read more
JP, APPRENTICE, Triangle P Cattle Company First Month ReflectionAfter I retired from active duty (Army), I attended Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre. While at Meredith Manor, I began to search for a new career. I chose my new career in agriculture. After...read more
Aubin Lebegue, APPRENTICE, Vilicus Farms, MT First Month ReflectionI arrived at Vilicus Farms at the beginning of March, which gave me time to get settled in. My mentors are very kind and smart people. Since my first days at the Vilicus Farms I have felt good and have...read more
Benjamin Clark, APPRENTICE, Vilicus Farms, MT First Month Reflection My interest in agriculture began soon after I started studying capitalism and resources. I remember watching documentaries while in High School about the advent of the peak oil crisis, the middle...read more
Lukman, APPRENTICE, James Ranch, CO First Month ReflectionMy name is Lukman and I am from a small village in West Borneo, Indonesia. I grew up in a nomadic subsistence farming family. We moved our farm field from one place to another every year and then came back to...read more
Tarryn Dixon, 2nd Year APPRENTICE, James Ranch, CO Reflections on Regenerative Agriculture “Give back what you take.” That is my general thought when contemplating the concept of regenerative agriculture. Meeting new people, a common question asked is: “What do you...read more
Caroline Conwell, APPRENTICE, Indian Ridge Farm, CO One Month Reflection I was drawn to agriculture over the past year as I began to really think hard about what I want out of life. I believe that taking care of our land and creating a better food system are vital for...read more
Cary Conwell, APPRENTICE, Indian Ridge Farm, CO One Month Reflection Time flies by on a farm. The constant stimulation of light, smells, sounds, and tactile sensations deliver a seemingly endless new world to observe and record. I am concluding my first month as an...read more
MORGAN ATKINSON, 2ND YEAR APPRENTICE, San Juan Ranch, CO My Land Ethic When I first sat down and tried to define what I consider to be my land ethic, I was unable to come up with something concrete. Each thought I had generated more questions and it became something...read more