I first became interested in farming and food during my sophomore year of college at Harding University, after reading a collection of essays by Wendell Berry entitled What Are People For?. The following summer, I volunteered at Heifer International’s Overlook Farm in Massachusetts where I learned that I wanted to be a farmer. I also learned a little about cooking, using a chainsaw, driving horses, and castrating pigs, and after dipping my toes in that vast ocean of potential knowledge, there was no turning back. The next summer I interned at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in North Carolina, where I worked in a soil lab, milked cows, and ate the best blueberries I’ve ever had.
After graduating from Harding with a degree in Biology, I worked for a short time at North Pulaski Farm in Jacksonville, AR, before beginning my apprenticeship at LRUF in April of 2012. For the next seven months, I learned as much as I could about propagating, harvesting, and running a small business. Whereas in my previous experiences I had dabbled in a wide variety of new activities, LRUF provided me with a great opportunity to practice new skills until I became proficient. Its emphasis on professionalism and quality greatly increased my confidence as an aspiring farmer.
Right after I finished my apprenticeship in November of 2012, I went to Maui to intern at the Surfing Goat Dairy. There I milked goats, trimmed hooves, made cheese, and vainly tried to learn how to windsurf. After returning to the mainland in June of 2013, I went on an epic two month bike trip with my cousin, starting in Wyoming, zigzagging through Utah, and somehow ending in Arkansas. Two weeks after arriving home, I began my lease on an 8-acre farm just outside of Little Rock.