MONTANA

VOLUNTEER FARM &

RANCH

In addition to VISIONS long-standing program locations around the world that feature service & cultural exchange, we have a Farm & Ranch program in Bozeman, Montana, that emphasizes sustainability & food sourcing.

Welcome to the VISIONS volunteer farm & ranch! This historic homestead lies at the base of the Bridger Mountains in Southwest Montana. Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark once camped on this land and a rich history abounds.

The farm serves VISIONS summer, Gap & Custom programs.

With Kelly Creek running through the heart of the property, and picturesque vistas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s rugged landscapes, it’s easy to forget that you’re ten minutes from downtown Bozeman. But it’s here, between the urban and the rural, that participants learn to connect to the land and the folks who sustainably cultivate it.

Students are part of the regenerative ag and local food movement, utilizing organic and sustainable practices that regenerate the soil and produce nutritious food for the valley. Work takes place at the VISIONS farm as well as other farms & ranches in this incredible valley.
Adventure tours
Grazing farm 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.
Montana Ranch Programs Buffalo Hide

PROJECTS

Each program and season is unique, but all are rooted in sustainability, regenerative agriculture, outdoor adventure and connection to the land. Programs include work & learning at the farm, but many projects also take place throughout the reaches of Gallatin & Paradise Valleys with other farmers, ranchers and conservationists. Participants take part in a plethora of impactful and educational hands-on work covering intersections of sustainability and regenerative agriculture. Participants also volunteer with the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, a local thrift store that raises funds for the Women’s Shelter, and other inspiring nonprofit groups.

In line with Project Drawdown’s Climate Solutions, participants learn ways to be active with climate solutions such as lowering food waste, regenerating soil, reducing resource use and improving society.

ACTIVITIES

While each volunteer program is unique, all programming incorporates a variety of outdoor wilderness excursions in addition to our service projects. Participants delve into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the sprawling ramparts of the Rockies on backpacking trips, rock climbing courses, swims in pristine alpine lakes and more. We’ll also take part in workshops, including topics like permaculture, sustainable textiles, bison tanning, land stewardship and wildlife ecology.
Through daily chores on the ranch, students learn skills like basic carpentry, composting, cooking and menu planning. Perhaps most importantly, woven into all our programs are activities to foster community, communication and inclusive friendship.

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. (Our smaller Gap programs move to an indoor bunk house when the weather is chilly.) 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 & have great views upon exiting!). Showers are taken off-site and students 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 & comfortable.

Montana gap year ranch meals

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