How to Gain Agriculture Skills and Experience Webinar


Hosted by Alexis Bonogofsky, Kevin Watt, and Abbey Smith

As a Savory hub leader in California, and as the global network coordinator for the Savory Global Network, I often get asked how aspiring, and new farmers and ranchers can get the skills and experience they need to become successful regenerative farmers. Where to start? What skill is needed first? How long will it take? Who can help?

In service of these important aspiring and new farmers, this webinar is focused on these questions of how to best gain agriculture skills and experience. The conversation is lead by team members from TomKat Ranch and the Quivira Coalition. Both organizations offer robust apprentice programs. Learn about their apprentice programs, how to get involved, key characteristics of quality learning experiences for new and aspiring farmers, and more! It will be conversational, informal, informative, useful and fun.

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Learn About the Hosts


Alexis Bonogofsky is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, community organizer, and freelance writer and photographer, who lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch. For eleven years she managed theTribal Lands Partnership Program for the National Wildlife Federation. She received her B.A. in International Studies from Gonzaga University and her M.A. in International Development from University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. In 2014, Alexis was awarded the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. She is also on the board of the directors of the national pipeline safety organization, the Pipeline Safety Trust.

Kevin Watt serves as the Strategic Advisor for Regenerative Ranching and Special Projects at TomKat Ranch in Pescadero, California.  His current projects include gathering and sharing the stories of ranchers who have seen economic and environmental benefits from regenerative management and supporting the development of agricultural leases and technologies that help incentivize and scale regenerative practices.  Kevin helped pilot and launch the internship and apprenticeship programs at TomKat Ranch in 2014, which are designed to welcome and support people from a wide variety of cultural, professional, and educational backgrounds as they search for how they can contribute to the growth of a regenerative food system.

Abbey Smith serves as the Savory Global Network Coordinator. She is also owner and operator of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management with her husband, Spencer. The Jefferson Center is an organic cattle ranch and Savory Network Hub in Fort Bidwell, California.

She spent two months in South Africa living with families on holistically managed cattle farms after graduating magna cum laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in animal science and a focus in communications and ethnic studies. She attended graduate school at the University of Nevada, Reno where she received a master’s degree in interactive journalism. At UNR, she wrote a business plan for an online business to connect consumers and producers of local food. Through the competition, Abbey met her former employer of nine years and was recruited into the online/digital business world. During the last nine years she rose to a position of leadership within the company, Swift Communications, and was involved in many new ventures. She loves to work in in fast-paced, team environments working on projects in emerging markets. Before graduate school, she served as the director of a non-profit organization for natural resource conservation called The River Center in Modoc County, California. This position taught her how to manage a budget and bring groups of people together, often times with conflicting viewpoints, in order to find common ground.

She grew up on a commercial cattle ranch in Indian Valley, in Plumas County, California. Her loving, large, loud family has lived in the valley for seven generations. Family is a source of joy to her. Her goal in life is to build a beautiful world for her daughter, Maezy, which is why she and Spencer are working to advance Holistic Management.

Living in the rural community of Surprise Valley, California and being involved in a global organization is a dream come true. Abbey serves on the Surprise Valley Education Foundation board and is involved in local food groups. She enjoys doing yoga, throwing kettlebells around, gardening, riding horses and hiking with her daughter. Her happiest moments are on the ranch with her family. She loves running and runs alone, except when in Africa.


Watch the Replay

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