Formally, you might know Donne Gonzales as the Los Sembradores Farm Trainer & Youth Education Coordinator at the New Mexico Acequia Association, but it's impossible to parse out where her personal passions end and her professional work begins. In this episode, Donne teaches about the magic of acequias, her work teaching farming skills (however big or small a garden might be) and preserving the traditions of her community for future generations. If you need a heaping dose of farming motivation, give this episode a listen!
Caity Roberts, 2nd year Apprentice/Apprentice Coordinator at Ferrell Ranch/4L Grazing in Beaumont, Kansas sits down to talk about her journey in agriculture, and particularly how she has learned to care for her mental health and mindset while working on vineyards and ranches. Caity has helped Ferrell Ranch build their own apprenticeship program and has discovered the beauty and joy of living in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Quivira Coalition's Taylor Muglia sits down with Geoffrey Van, Program Director of the Changing Hands Program at Rogue Farm Corps. Geoffrey talks about a childhood surrounded by concrete in Hong Kong, then moving to the US and finding his passion in farming, first on a goji berry farm, and then in raising livestock. He found himself learning butchery in Brooklyn, New York for a bit, which solidified his love for soil and being outside in the countryside. He started his own operation with some friends called Spoon Full Farm in 2017, then decided to walk away from that venture and help other farmers develop business plans and navigate the resources for starting a farm through the Changing Hands Program. We talk business plans, dreaming smaller, and advocating for what you need for a healthy life balance.
Shalini Karra- A Journey from NAP Apprentice to Holistic Livestock Manager at Apricot Lane Farms - and Everything in Between.
In this episode we speak with Shalini Karra. She's the Holistic Livestock Manager at Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, California. Shalini didn't come from an agricultural background, but took several important opportunities - including a New Agrarian Program apprenticeship and working with Gabe Brown - that allowed her to develop a career in regenerative agriculture. She talks about the bumps in the road, but also some things that never lose their magic, including a healthy baby lamb.
Shepherdess, mother, and generational farmer Elena Miller- ter Kuile tells us more about the history of her family's operation, Cactus Hill Farm in La Jara, CO. She explains how she revived the sheep operation and developed a fiber business, with eyes on a direct-market lamb enterprise. Her family also helps run the farm operation with alfalfa, grains, and vegetables. Motherhood on the ranch has presented challenges, as well as sexism and racism, but Elena encourages other young people in regenerative agriculture to keep pursuing their dreams, and ignore the haters.
Content Warning: We get a little graphic in our conversation regarding animal and human birthing processes. (But it really gave us a good laugh!)
In this episode, Taylor Muglia with Quivira Coalition's New Agrarian Program interviews Kate Mannix. She's a rancher, a natural dye/fiber artist, an employee at the Blackfoot Challenge, and former New Agrarian Program apprentice! Kate walks us through her path into ranching, her apprenticeship experience, and how she found her true community in Helmville, Montana. Along the way, she gives new agrarians some great advice about getting a foothold in regenerative ranching and finding a meaningful life doing it.
From Lifelong Land Stewardship to Ecological Architecture - Internships as a Vehicle to Stewardship Dreams
Quivira Coalition occasionally hosts interns, often for summer projects and occasionally for longer-term projects. Meet two of Quivira's interns in this episode! Levi Shije is a Tribal member of Zia Pueblo and alum of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, who conducted compost research at his family farm over the summer of 2021. And Luis Rodriguez weaves together sustainable agriculture and architecture while conducting research on the ground through his internship. Join host Leah Potter-Weight as she learns more about each of their lives, connection to land stewardship, goals for the future and advice for fellow land stewards.
Maggie Hanna is the Director of External Relations at the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust. New Agrarian Program Colorado Manager Taylor Sanders has a conversation with Maggie, which helps us understand what conservation easements are, why they matter in the West, and she shares some of the rewarding aspects of being involved in conserving vast landscapes in her home state.
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.