Montana Volunteer Farm & Ranch

In addition to VISIONS international and Native American reservation program locations, we have a Montana farm & ranch at the base of the Bridger Mountains in Bozeman that serves teen summer, Gap & Custom programs

Montana Volunteer Farm & Ranch

In addition to VISIONS international and Native American reservation program locations, we have a Montana farm & ranch at the base of the Bridger Mountains in Bozeman that serves teen summer, Gap & Custom programs

Montana Volunteer Farm & Ranch

In addition to VISIONS international and Native American reservation program locations, we have a Montana farm & ranch at the base of the Bridger Mountains in Bozeman that serves teen summer, Gap & Custom programs

The Valley

Welcome to the VISIONS volunteer ranch. This historic homestead lies at the base of the Bridger Mountains in southwest Montana where Lewis and Clark once camped with Sacajawea. With Kelly Creek running through its heart and big views of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s rugged landscapes, it’s easy to forget you’re less than ten minutes from downtown Bozeman. But it’s here, between the urban and the rural, that participants learn to connect to the land and its people.

The Valley

Welcome to the VISIONS volunteer ranch. This historic homestead lies at the base of the Bridger Mountains in southwest Montana where Lewis and Clark once camped with Sacajawea. With Kelly Creek running through its heart and big views of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s rugged landscapes, it’s easy to forget you’re less than ten minutes from downtown Bozeman. But it’s here, between the urban and the rural, that participants learn to connect to the land and its people.

The Farm

Students are part of the first phases of bringing the farm back into production utilizing organic and sustainable practices that regenerate the soil and produce nutritious food for the valley. Historic barns are being repurposed and new infrastructure—including a pole barn—are being constructed. Springtime brings the arrival of grazing farm animals, vegetable and cover cropsPlans for permaculture and rewilding are also underway.

Participants during summer farm programs sleep on cots in glamping-style wall tents and utilize a mobile unit shower / bathroom house. 

Programs

From fall and spring Gap programs or teen summer programs, each VISIONS Montana farming program at the ranch is unique. But every program is deeply rooted in environmental sustainability, regenerative agriculture, outdoor adventure and connection to the land and its communities, experienced through immersion projects with farmers, ranchers and conservationists throughout the valley. And in line with Project Drawdown’s 2020 Climate Solutions, all of our ranch programs deliberately focus on climate issues, biodiversity and social equity. Participants in our ranch programs learn to incorporate and put into practice actions to be part of the climate solution, including lowering food waste, regenerating soil, reducing resource use and improving society.

Programs

From fall and spring Gap programs or teen summer programs, each VISIONS Montana farming program at the ranch is unique. But every program is deeply rooted in environmental sustainability, regenerative agriculture, outdoor adventure and connection to the land and its communities, experienced through immersion projects with farmers, ranchers and conservationists throughout the valley. And in line with Project Drawdown’s 2020 Climate Solutions, all of our ranch programs deliberately focus on climate issues, biodiversity and social equity. Participants in our ranch programs learn to incorporate and put into practice actions to be part of the climate solution, including lowering food waste, regenerating soil, reducing resource use and improving society.

Activities

While each ranch program is unique, all programming incorporates common activities like participating in a bison harvest at North Bridger Bison Range, working at a holistically managed cattle ranch and volunteering at local nonprofits like the Gallatin Valley Food Bank or Hopa Mountain, which invests in rural and tribal citizen leaders. Participants will learn sustainable farming practices in greenhouses, planting or harvesting at neighboring Rocky Creek Farm; and about land stewardship, conservation, wildlife ecology via backcountry adventures throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Through daily chores on the ranch, participants learn basic carpentry, composting, and cooking and menu planning. And woven into all programs are activities to foster community, communication, collaboration and mindfulness with your peers.

Meals

Our aim is to use as many local and sustainable resources as possible, including produce harvested from neighboring farms, edible plants foraged from the wilderness and organic meat from our partner ranches. (Of course, we source ingredients from conventional stores when needed as well.)

Participants are involved with the cooking and menu planning, taking turns with peers and leaders to plan and prepare food throughout the program. Meals are robust and varied, and always include vegan and vegetarian options.

Meals

Our aim is to use as many local and sustainable resources as possible, including produce harvested from neighboring farms, edible plants foraged from the wilderness and organic meat from our partner ranches. (Of course, we source ingredients from conventional stores when needed as well.) Participants are involved with the cooking and menu planning, taking turns with peers and leaders to plan and prepare food throughout the program. Meals are robust and varied, and always include vegan and vegetarian options.

*COVID PRECAUTIONS

Our 2021 summer programs may incorporate a cozy “tent town” for the first two weeks of program time, in order to simplify COVID protocols, ensure health and minimize mask-wearing. If such protocols are still needed, participants will be provided with their own tents and mattresses, and tents will be clustered together. Once we’ve passed the “COVID-safe” date, participants have the option to move to group canvas wall tents with cots. Our kitchen will include an outdoor cook tent and bathrooms will consist of port-o-pots and hot water showers. 

For the spring Gap program, participants may bunk in the ranch house, weather depending. Group size is limited and participants may need to produce a negative COVID test (VISIONS office will be in touch with the details of this) in order to lower the risk.