New Agrarian Voices

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 do for a living?” For the past two summers I have felt very lucky to give my answer.  “Milk cows, make cheese.” Short and sweet, and that’s about all people care to know. As awesome as that answer is, there is so much more to it. Being part of the James Ranch has provided an all-encompassing learning environment for regenerative agriculture, culinary science, and dairy operation.  I knew I wanted to step out of the restaurant world and into farming to create good quality food, but by becoming involved with organizations like Quivira, HMI, and the James Ranch, I know that to feel successful I have to also pay attention to the land I am working on. Not only am I learning the ins and outs of running a dairy, but also  how to reverse and prevent desertification in a semi-arid landscape, sequester carbon from the atmosphere and put it back in the soil, and to educate the public about effects of climate change on our world. For me, all those parts come together through the humane animal practices encouraged here to make what I consider to be my personal land ethic in regards to agriculture.  I hope to take what I learn here and continue down the path of not only taking what we need from the land and soil to create great food for people, but always remembering to give back to the land, to strive for improvement and for a healthy future.

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