Byron Palmer – Navigating Rural Life for New Agrarians

Byron Palmer has a storied career with beginnings in the suburbs of California, attending “hippie camp” in the countryside as a young agrarian, and then working for Sonoma Mountain Institute and beginning his own direct-market, consulting, and grazing business, Grounded Grassfed. Taylor Sanders, NAP Colorado Manager, talks with Byron about the struggles of the transition from urban/suburban to rural life, strategies to cope with loneliness, and chats about how young agrarians can fit into the many careers involved in regenerative agriculture.

Follow Byron:

Facebook – @groundedgrassfed
Instagram – @groundedgrassfed
Sonoma Mountain Institute
Grounded Grassfed 


Music attribution:

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

Show Notes:

00:53 Taylor Sanders introduces the episode: Byron Palmer of the Sonoma Mountain Institute and Grounded Grassfed
02:27 Byron introduces SMI (the Sonoma Mountain Institute) and his role managing ecological restoration with prescribed herbivory on both public and private land
03:20 Byron introduces Grounded Grassfed/Grounded Land & Livestock
03:38 Growing up in the suburbs, and learning about issues that eventually led him to agriculture
06:53 A typical day for Byron, on the land, in the office, and with his family
09:35 On being an introverted extrovert
11:18 Byron’s first experience working in a rural place
14:08 Lessons learned on maintaining community while living in a rural place
19:13 The awkwardness and humanity of transitioning from the suburban life to farming
21:29 Maintaining relationships through communication
23:21 Byron’s favorite aspects of living in a rural place
29:03 Byron’s advice to other young agrarians
36:00 Follow what Byron is up to: Sonoma Mountain Institute, Grounded Grassfed, or @groundedgrassfed on Facebook or Instagram 
36:36 Tips and Tidbits – Tyler Eshelman, owner/operator at Virsylvia Farm and the coordinator for the New Mexico Coalition to Enhance Working Lands
37:44 Job Announcements – Mesa Top Farm (Santa Fe, NM) is hiring for an intermediate level farm position. For more job opportunities, sign up for our newsletter, and find our past newsletters and job announcements here.
39:00 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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