Farm06 Vol 4 Iss 3

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farm406 26 Spring was in full bloom and I was spending the day with Natalie Berkman and Bill Milton on the Milton Ranch, northeast of Roundup, Montana. We were bouncing around the prairie in Bill's workhorse Toyota Tacoma, heading out to put up new electric fence and move the cows into a new grazing paddock. Bill and Natalie move the cows every day and they have a prey niy electric fence roller that helps them quickly and efficiently unroll and reroll the wire. We hop out of the pickup. e meadowlarks are singing, the yucca is preparing to bloom, and the cows are beginning to take notice of us, sensing that they'll have new grass to munch on soon. I listen as Bill explains to Natalie where the new line will go. ey are both very tall; to me it seems they could be father and daughter, and their long strides take them off in opposite directions with purpose. At this point in the season, Natalie is old hat at puing up an electric fence. "Moving cows onto new pasture is addicting," Natalie tells me, "and very satisfying." Natalie is Bill's apprentice. She became interested in agriculture at an early age, helping her father tend to his 20-by-50 foot community garden plot near their home in Washington D.C.. Eventually, aer college, she made her way out to Gunnison, CO, managing community gardens and small vegetable farms. She had dreams of working with cows but the possibility always seemed just a lile out of reach. en she got a job on a small diversified operation near Great Falls, Montana. She lived in a tiny tack shed, spending most of her days in the vegetable garden and rotationally grazing a small herd of cows, constantly observing their behavior and New Agrarian Apprenticeship Program Takes Root In Montana BY ALEXIS BONOGOFSKY PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEXIS BONOGOFSKY New Agrarian apprentices pose for a group photo with Whit Hibbard, low stress livestock handling expert, at a clinic held on the Mannix Ranch near Helmville, Montana in May 2020.

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