Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partnersAgriculture-related college degree, Informal apprenticeship, General farming (less than 3 years), Other experience/license/agriculture or business training
Other experience/license/agriculture or business training:Masters in Natural Resource Management; Grassland Management Certificate; work with Grasslands LLC and the Savory Institute
Briefly describe your current occupation(s) and responsibilities and list previous agricultural employment and experiences. If you are currently farming or ranching, please state the size, type(s), and location of the operation.I grew up surrounded by cornfields in the midwest, but after traveling the country for gainful employment and 5 years in the Army with one deployment to Iraq I have learned that I have a love for wide open spaces and seeing the world at the eye level of a horse or cow. I am currently employed as a geospatial ecologist for a large land management agency in Billings, and I have 6 years of experience managing large diverse landscapes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. I have worked for Grasslands LLC (a "special project" company associated with the Savory Institute) as a seasonal ranch hand on ranches near Broadus and Jordan. We primarily dealt with custom grazing of beef cattle (approximately 5000 head). I am not currently farming or ranching.
CountiesCarbon, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Stillwater, Yellowstone
Type of OperationLarge Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Other
Farming PracticesConventional, Organic, Other
Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.I am most interested in bison ranching which, as a niche market, is well adapted to small producers. The enterprise I would like to start would be best described as a small cow/calf producer with less than 40 head. I'm currently looking for land to lease prior to purchasing livestock or some sort of custom arrangement with a current bison producer.
Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.I have a background in holistic grazing and holistic decision making. I strongly feel that effective management and conservative stocking rates are more crucial to the success of grazed ecosystems than a specific system of grazing (i.e. continuous vs. rotational). Personally I want to strongly avoid agricultural activities that require a high level of mechanical input (e.g. irrigating, haying, and farming). I believe in working with, rather than against, nature; the ranch I envision in the future will rely on healthy rangeland to convert vegetative productivity into a marketable and profitable product. That being said, I understand the realities of agricultural production and will consider conventional methods when all the other options are unfeasible.
Transition ArrangementsBuy/Sell, Cropshare, Lease, Partnership, Open to other arrangements
If you are interested in another type of business arrangement, please explainI need to reach that magical 2 year level of farm management experience. It opens up access to capital and financing that I do not have at the moment. I'm interested in developing long term partnerships with current and/or future producers primarily in the form of a lease, livestock share (cropshare), custom grazing, or purchasing livestock.
Please elaborate on the kind of additional training/information that would help you:Setting up an LLC or assistance with taxes. Also any financing options (such as grants etc.) I am unaware of would be nice as well. Some constructive criticism of my business plan would be appreciated as well.