Caity Roberts on Regenerating Land, Ourselves, and Rural Communities

Caity Roberts, 2nd year Apprentice/Apprentice Coordinator at Ferrell Ranch/4L Grazing in Beaumont, Kansas sits down to talk about her journey in agriculture, and particularly how she has learned to care for her mental health and mindset while working on vineyards and ranches. Caity has helped Ferrell Ranch build their own apprenticeship program and has discovered the beauty and joy of living in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

Find out more about Ferrell Ranch on their Instagram page.

 

Music attribution:
Wanderlust by Scott Buckley | www.scottbuckley.com.au

Show Notes:

1:40– Caity tells us where she’s calling in from: “the middle of everywhere”
2:10- Caity gives a background of her story, from Southern California, talks about her childhood as the kid who “ate plants that grew out of cracks in the concrete” and her early love of animals
5:58- Went to college for cultural anthropology
4:40- Interned teaching youth, worked at cheese creamers
5:54- Entered the Willamette Valley wine industry
7:00- Father diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and went back and forth to California
7:28- Watched YouTube videos with Jeff Wadden and Alan Savory and things clicked
8:20- Father dies, grief, “I feel like I have two options: I can stay and drink for a year, or I can go do something” so went to New Zealand to work in wine, then went to visit sheep producers and it clicked- she loved it. Went to Australia to WWOOF.
10:30- Travel can be a way to run from yourself. Mental health was suffering, so she took a break and started DBT therapy
12:54- “There’s 60 years of topsoil left, and I have to spend a year working on myself??” We need to talk about regenerating ourselves like we talk about regenerating land
13:46- Applied to NAP, didn’t get chosen, but was referred to Ferrell Ranch
15:20- Vineyards & sheep
19:30- Mental health in ag, taking a break, more about DBT Therapy, Caity’s habits to help mental health
25:18- Apprentices learn to “dance with discomfort”
30:45- Caity talks about working with cattle for the first time, shares wisdom from John Wagner, owner of 4L Grazing
34:18– Recommendation: Working Cows Podcast with Pete Ferrell. Caity talks about structure of Ferrell Ranch and 4L Grazing (grazing company with rolling 5 year lease to ranch).
35:57– Caity talks about tallgrass prairie of Kansas and how her ideas of Kansas have completely changed
37:59– Ferrell Ranch apprenticeship program, applications open around November 1st to start the apprentice the first or second week of February.
42:40– Caity talks about privilege inherent in the apprenticeship model, wants to figure out how to make apprenticeships more accessible.
43:57– Living a mission-driven life
45:54– Crafting an apprenticeship program- not altruistic, it’s grounding for the people teaching and she’s interested in building partner ranches, “link up all the islands” to bring more young people to Kansas
50:00– Caity’s advice for young agrarians: Don’t be afraid to try things, appreciate the journey and all the lessons you learn at the different opportunities. “You need to repot yourself every 7 years or so.” Everyone brings different skills to the table.
More info on Ferrell Ranch Apprenticeship

53:10- Job announcements! 

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership hiring Rio Grande Program Coordinator

New Mexico Food Security Coordinator

To send in your own job posting for our newsletter/podcast: newagrarian@quiviracoalition.org
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