VOLUNTEER FARM &
In addition to VISIONS long-standing program locations around the world that feature service and cultural exchange, we have a Farm & Ranch program in Bozeman, Montana, that emphasizes sustainability, climate action and local food sourcing. It’s the perfect program for students who are looking for all that VISIONS has to offer and with the bonus of taking away skills for a sustainable future.
The farm serves VISIONS summer, Gap & Custom programs.
Grazing animals, vegetables, cover crops, a large greenhouse and “kitchen garden” are being established on the homestead. Plans for permaculture, riparian rehabilitation and rewilding are also being drafted. Ultimately, the farm will be a collective with a few small agricultural enterprises that use the land and interface with participants who want to learn more through hands-on work.
The program is rooted in sustainability, climate solutions, regenerative agriculture, outdoor adventure and connecting to the land. We work and learn at the farm, but many projects also take place throughout the Gallatin and Paradise Valleys with farmers, ranchers and conservationists who are eager to share their ways of life with you.
In line with Project Drawdown’s Climate Solutions, you will learn ways to be active with climate solutions such as lowering food waste, regenerating soil, reducing resource use and improving society. You will be part of the regenerative ag and local food movement, utilizing practices that “drawdown” carbon levels while also enhancing food security.
As with all VISIONS programs, the work varied! You’ll get to choose between construction projects, helping with animals, doing land-based projects at farms and ranches, running a day camp for kids, and volunteering at the Food Bank, a local thrift store and an organization that serves Native American reservations.
ACTIVITIES & ADVENTURE
Be prepared to delve into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the ramparts of the Rockies on backpacking trips, rock climbing, white water rafting, swimming and more. We also do workshops, including permaculture, sustainable textiles, bison hide tanning, land stewardship and wildlife ecology.
FOOD & LODGING
Our aim is to use as many local resources as possible, including produce from neighboring farms and organic meat from our partner ranches. We source ingredients from conventional stores when needed, as well. Participants are involved with cooking and meal planning, taking turns with peers and leaders to prepare food. Meals are robust and varied, and include vegan and vegetarian options.
We live with as small an environmental footprint as possible, maintaining a deep and untrammeled connection to the land. Participants sleep on cots with mattresses in glamping-style wall tents that are on wooden platforms. We use a historic “loafing shed” barn for gatherings and cooking is done in a large food truck-style commercial kitchen. Our porta-pots are cleaned daily by chore groups and professionally serviced every week (not to worry, they stay very clean and have great views upon exiting!). Showers are taken off-site and students take showers on a rotating basis. can shower every other day.
We have a campfire to gather around in the evenings and picnic tables to eat under the big sky (unless inclement weather arrives, of course). All told, we live simply at the VISIONS Farm, but stay clean and comfortable.