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apprentice on a regenerative ranch

Posted: October 26 2016

Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming
Offered through The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program on partner ranches and farms in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, and California
The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program (NAP) partners with skilled ranchers and farmers to offer annual apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Together, we create opportunities for comprehensive, full-immersion experiential learning from expert practitioners in professional settings. This program is designed to support the next generation of food producers and specifically targets first-career professionals with a sincere commitment to life at the intersection of conservation and regenerative agriculture. NAP mentors are dedicated stewards of the land; they practice intentional, regenerative methods of food or fiber production, provide excellent animal care, and are skilled and enthusiastic teachers.
In 2017, we are offering seven paid apprenticeship opportunities including:

  • San Juan Ranch (Saguache, CO): San Juan Ranch is a certified organic, grass-fed beef ranch operated by George Whitten and Julie Sullivan. The apprenticeship curriculum includes Holistic Management, low-stress animal husbandry, range health monitoring, planned grazing, herding, ranch infrastructure maintenance, soil health, and grass-fed finishing.
  • James Ranch Artisan Cheese (Durango, CO): James Ranch Artisan Cheese manages a small herd of Jersey cows for the production of raw milk and small-batch cheeses. Operated by Dan and Becca James, JRAC is one of several family-run enterprises on the larger James Ranch.
  • Brett Gray Ranch (Rush, CO): Round River Resource Management LLC is a land resource and livestock management company dedicated to restoring and improving agricultural operations through the principles of Holistic Management in a sustainable manner and consistent with the goals of the resource owner.
  • Ranney Ranch (Corona, NM): The Ranney Ranch is a family owned cow-calf ranching operation that sits at 6200′ in the high mesa country of central New Mexico. The ranch sells young, range-finished beef direct to consumers who value how their food choices impact the environment.
  • Tooley’s Trees (Truchas, NM): Tooley's Trees is a family-run, ten-acre tree nursery owned and operated by Gordon Tooley and Margaret Yancey. They grow drought tolerant fruit and conifer trees and shrubs in fabric root bags, on drip irrigation, using holistic growing practices for healthier plants and soils, higher water quality, and increased beneficial insects. 
  • Cobblestone Ranch (Los Molinos, CA): The Cobblestone Ranch is a sheep operation based on private property and on federal wildlife refuge lands. Breanna Owens uses rotational grazing with the overall goal of maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat and specific goals of reducing thatch, shrub and weed control, and stimulating new herbaceous growth.
  • Vilicus Farms (Havre, MT): Vilicus Farms is a first generation, nationally recognized organic, dryland crop farm. Anna and Doug grow a diverse array of heirloom and specialty grains, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops with advanced land stewardship at a scale that matters.

New Agrarian Program apprentices do not always come from an agricultural background, but they are all committed to regenerative land stewardship and sustainable practices. Our rancher and farmer mentors expect a lot of themselves and thus a lot out of their apprentices. Entering agriculture is not easy and developing a vision for yourself and your operation is imperative to success.
These apprenticeships are full-time, intensive education & professional training opportunities, 50-60 hours a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. One of the joys as well as the challenges of agriculture is living and working with the rhythm of the seasons, and the work schedule follows the demands of season, weather, plant and animal needs. The New Agrarian Program seeks applicants with a sincere commitment to lives and careers in regenerative agriculture, enough experience to know what it takes to work on the land, and an excellent work ethic. Applicants must be highly motivated self-starters, and have the ability to work independently; be prepared to work long days outside in variable conditions; be solid problem solvers; and embrace diversity and teamwork. The selected applicants will be mature individuals, excited to engage in their own learning process.
Compensation includes a monthly stipend, housing, partial board, enrollment in a Holistic Management International beginning rancher/farmer webinar ($1000 value), and participation in various Quivira Coalition events.
Each opportunity offered through the New Agrarian Program is unique. To learn more about each apprenticeship and to apply online, visit the New Agrarian Program at www.quiviracoalition.org.  Applications require a resume, professional references, and responses to a series of questions. Application deadlines as early as November 20, 2016.
Please find detailed information for each opportunity listed above on the Quivira Coalition website: www.quiviracoalition.org. If you have further questions, email [email protected].