Alyssa Barsanti – Starting a Livestock Business in an Increasingly Expensive West

In this episode, Taylor Sanders, the Colorado Manager for Quivira’s New Agrarian Program, talks with Alyssa Barsanti of Marigold Livestock Co. Taylor and Alyssa met several years ago while working together at ACES Rock Bottom Ranch. Alyssa talks about her recent experience starting her own livestock operation on leased land, including some of the unanticipated challenges and expenses she’s encountered along the way.

Find Alyssa on Instagram and Facebook.


Music attribution:

Wanderlust by Scott Buckley |
Music promoted by
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Show Notes:

00:50 Taylor Sander’s introduction to the episode
01:43 How Alyssa Barsanti got into food and farming
04:19 Alyssa introduces Marigold Livestock Co., and her plan to slowly grow it
06:13 Getting a business off the ground often requires other sources of income
08:28 Alyssa’s plan for processing and selling her chickens
12:35 Intro to ACES Rock Bottom Ranch
14:10 Experiences that helped Alyssa start her own operation
16:14 How Alyssa found land to lease, and navigating the leasing process through Pitkin County
25:59 Some surprising challenges starting a new operation
35:50 Policy changes or other support that could help beginning farmers and ranchers
40:39 Advice for brand new farmers and ranchers
42:40 What keeps Alyssa farming
43:55 Where to find Alyssa – or on Facebook and Instagram @marigoldlivestock
44:14 Tips & Tidbits – Taylor Sanders on the value of a crockpot. Submit your own tip or tidbit to!
45:53 Job Announcements – Regenerative Ranching Apprenticeship at TomKat Ranch, Conservation Ranching Manager at Montana Audubon. Sign up for our newsletter, and find our past newsletters and job announcements here.
46:56 Stay tuned – more info about Quivira’s 2022 New Agrarian apprenticeships will be up on the NAP website in October. Applications for the 2022 season open November 1st!

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