Guest-Host Alumnus Graham Holtrop and His Mentor Jim Spinner Talk About Life as a Ranch Manager

New Agrarian Program (NAP) alumni Graham Holtrop guest-hosts this episode, interviewing his former mentor Jim Spinner (current NAP mentor at The Veebaray). Graham and Jim discuss what he loves about ranching, what it takes to be ranch manager, and advice for first generation ranchers who may pursue ranch management, as opposed to ownership. Jim talks about his challenges raising a family and navigating work/life balance. And if you needed any more evidence of how cool Jim really is, we also learn that he does indeed have a ski boat, he does indeed drive 3 hours each way to the nearest Montana lake, and he did indeed teach Graham how to knee board. Not sure knee boarding can go on the program skill checklist, but we’ll accept it.

Find Jim on Instagram
Find Graham on LinkedIn

Photo of Graham (blonde guy on horse) credit: Melanie Elzinga

Music attribution:
Wanderlust by Scott Buckley


0:55 Taylor introduces Graham Holtrop as her guest-host who will be interviewing Jim Spinner
4:50 Jim talks about where he is located, what his career in ranching has looked like so far, and his day-to-day work at the Veebaray Ranch
11:15 Graham and Jim talk about soft skills for working with people and his experience with mentoring apprentices
16:30 work/life balance and hobbies
22:01 What Jim enjoys most and least about his work and little stories about ranching
39:10 Jim’s experiences as somebody who didn’t grow up in ranching
58:15 Jim’s recommendation for what New Agrarians should look for in a ranch job
1:00:40 Thank you Jim and Graham


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