“In just over a month I will have the privilege of beginning to work with Nancy and Melvin at Ranney Ranch. My journey in agriculture has been a winding one. Beginning in the rolling hills of central Washington to the green and wet Pacific Northwest, all the way to mountainous Nepal and back to the lush valleys of Virginia and now here to dry and brittle central New Mexico. All of these landscapes are vastly different from one another but all are experiencing immense changes due to human impact and climatic change. The east coast is too wet, the west too dry; temperature changes and global migrations introduce invasive species that change landscapes. Ranney Ranch is situated in historically vast grasslands with incredible diversity but due to over grazing and systemic drought these grasslands are being choked out by junipers and have seen incredible decline in animal and plant diversity. Fortunately, Nancy and Melvin are doing their part in trying to regenerate their land. With changes in grazing patterns and with attention and care they have begun the process of returning the land to what it used to be. When I went to visit the ranch I stood along a fence line with Melvin; on one side was Ranney Ranch, on the other their neighbors. It was in this moment, seeing the stark contrast in dense, resilient and diverse grassland to dry and brittle land, that I knew I wanted to be a part of this process. I hope in my time at Ranney Ranch I can absorb as much knowledge and wisdom from Nancy and Melvin. To live the realities of what it takes to make ends meet while keeping proper land and animal management at the forefront. I am inspired by them and throughly look forward to working with them and getting to know them better.” – Mitchell Robert

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