Montana Farm & Ranch
High School SERVICE Program
CONSERVATION & FOOD PRODUCTION FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
JUNE 20 to JULY 04 | 15 DAYS
50 HRS SERVICE | TUITION $4,550
JULY 10 to JULY 30 | 21 DAYS
90 HRS SERVICE | TUITION $5,950
CHECK OUT: PROGRAM AVAILABILITY
Embracing Projects That Matter
At VISIONS, we’re firm believers that the youth of today hold the keys to a better tomorrow. As the fight against climate change and environmental degradation grows ever more dire, now more than ever it’s critical that younger generations are able to glean insight into what it means to truly live sustainably and conscientiously, in harmony with the land, all amid the clamor of the digital age.
In our Montana Farm Program, participants will collaborate with Montana farmers, ranchers and conservationists. We’ll work with and learn from these tenacious folks to grow and harvest food, care for livestock, turn compost piles, perform trail maintenance work and more.
We’ll also split into groups during our program, rotating to work with two local organizations. Hopa Mountain works to improve the environmental, educational and social health of rural tribal citizens in Montana. With Hopa, we’ll take part in a variety of service projects that support tribal communities. Meanwhile, the Gallatin Valley Food Bank provides aid for local families struggling with food insecurity. Here, participants will sort produce, stock shelves and re-package food to help these families.
The Montana Farm Program is equal parts service and learning, as we all strive to gain an understanding of what it takes to be a sustainable tenant of the land.
Making Meaningful Connections
Our home is a sprawling farm in the rugged Gallatin Valley, on the outskirts of Bozeman, Montana. In addition to traditional farm buildings including barns, a historic trapper’s cabin and a greenhouse, we use large canvas wall tents on wooden platforms for our bunk rooms. Accommodations are basic but comfortable, and most importantly they stay true to the farm life of the West.
During your time here, you’ll also get to know other growers, livestock ranchers and conservationists in this magical area, known as “Valley of the Flowers” by Native Americans. On many days you’ll find yourself heading up the dirt road to neighboring Rocky Creek Farm, a vibrant operation with lots of young farmers who welcome our help on myriad projects.
You’ll learn from the grit and work ethic of the local people and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be connected to the land that brings us all life. In Montana, the beauty of this land is only matched by the splendor of the heavens at night, with vast arrays of stars strewn across clear summer skies.
“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.”
SETTING OUT TO GO BEYOND
Prepare for life in the heart of an unforgettable western landscape strewn with soaring mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, raging rivers and vast open prairies. During your stay, service opportunities will be mixed in with jaunts into the sublime Montana backcountry, including everything from rock climbing to backpacking to afternoon dips at remote mountain swimming holes. In addition to the wilderness excursions, we’ll attend a variety of cultural events, such as rodeos and county fairs, as well as an (optional) bison harvest. During your stay, you’ll also hear from a handful of guest speakers, including the Raptor Center… and yes, they bring raptors to visit with us!
ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS
- Backpack and camp overnight in the spectacular Montana backcountry
- Learn to rock climb (except for the 15-day program)
- Embark on a variety of day hikes, including a trek to the top of Sacagawea Peak
- Swim at local and mountain swimming holes
- Attend local county fair, summer rodeos and other cultural events, depending on program schedule
- Tour of Montana State University (optional)
- Visit downtown Bozeman
- Visit Paradise Valley & Livingston
- Hear from a variety of guest speakers, including a permaculture workshop, film-making workshop, Raptor Center visit, and various conservationist organizations