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apprenticeships in regenerative ranching and farming

Posted: October 31 2017


credit: Quivira coalition/Cobblestone Ranch

The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program (NAP) is partnering with skilled ranchers and farmers to offer apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Together, they create opportunities for full-immersion learning from expert practitioners. This program is designed to support the next generation of food producers and targets those with a sincere commitment to life at the intersection of conservation and regenerative agriculture. NAP mentors are dedicated stewards of the land; they practice regenerative methods of food or fiber production, provide excellent animal care, and are skilled and enthusiastic teachers. 

They are offering paid apprenticeship opportunities in 2018 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.

Round River Resource Management (Rush, CO): Round River Resource Management LLC is a land resource and livestock management company run by Louis Martin 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.  Round River manages holistic cattle grazing on large acreage in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Colorado State land board.

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. Owner Nancy Ranney and manager Melvin Johnson will mentor the apprentice. 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 on 5600 acres, with advanced land stewardship at a scale that matters.


New Agrarian Program apprentices do not always come from an agricultural background, but they are committed to regenerative land stewardship and sustainable practices. Our rancher and farmer mentors expect a lot of themselves and 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, varying with the demands of season, weather, plant and animal needs. The New Agrarian Program seeks applicants with a sincere commitment to lives in regenerative agriculture, enough experience to know what it takes to work on the land, and an excellent work ethic. Applicants must be motivated self-starters, 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, Holistic Management International beginning rancher/farmer training ($1000 value), and registration, travel and lodging for the Quivira Coalition conference, orientation.

Each opportunity offered through the New Agrarian Program is unique. To learn about each apprenticeship, click HERE. Online applications are available HERE, and require a resume, professional references, and responses to a series of questions. Application deadlines are as early as November 20, 2017.

Please find detailed information for each opportunity listed above and well as other apprenticeship opportunities that will be posted later this fall on the Quivira Coalition website. 

If you have further questions, email [email protected]