Where Are They Now – Anna Brown

A question and answer session with our former intern, Anna Brown

Q: When did you work at TomKat, for how long, and what was your position?

A: I worked at TomKat Ranch from the summer of 2017 to the winter of 2019, a little over a year and a half. I started out as an intern and continued on as an apprentice working with several initiatives at the Ranch.

Q: How did you find out about TomKat Ranch?

A: My good friend, Rachel Sullivan, was an intern at TomKat Ranch in the summer of 2016.  I was working on a farm in the Willamette Valley and came to TomKat Ranch to visit her! It was beautiful and the team was doing innovative and exciting work so I applied to work there for the next summer.

Q: How did you get involved in agriculture/ranching in the first place?

A: I studied environmental science in college and I took a unique path within my studies that brought me from climate science to Indigenous Ecological Knowledge systems and then to farming and agriculture. The history of human interaction with the planet tells us so much about our evolution and our relationship with other humans, land, and animals. I find that the most intimate relationship you can have with the planet is by growing food! Everyone’s gotta eat, right?

Q: What was your favorite memory at TomKat?

A: Oh man, that is a tough one. I think I’d have to go with May 9, 2018, my birthday, when I went out with the Land and Livestock team (Hayley Strohm, Mark Biaggi, and Evan Watson) on a rainy day and got to sort, vaccinate, and brand the yearlings. My boots were FILLED with water but it was a great time. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my birthday doing anything else. 

Q: Who was the most influential person during your time at TomKat Ranch?

A: That is an impossible question to answer. I created quite a few deep, meaningful relationships at TomKat Ranch. I learned a great deal from my mentors there. I would have to say that the powerful, incredible, intelligent women of the TomKat Ranch team made my experience unforgettable. They are absolutely magical and inspirational.

Q: Where are you and what are you doing now?

A: I am currently the Livestock Manager at Spoon Full Farm in Thorp, Washington. I manage a small herd of ~30 beef cattle,  750 laying hens, and 8 dairy goats on 200 beautiful acres off the Yakima river. 

Q: How has your TomKat experience shaped where you are/what you are doing now?

A: I wouldn’t have been able to manage all these critters, all the while practicing low-stress stockmanship AND regenerative grazing without my experience at TomKat Ranch. It also solidified and intensified my passion and love for animal agriculture and land stewardship. Though I learned all about soil health, meat processing, land, animal, AND people management at TomKat Ranch, the single greatest thing I learned was about myself and who I ultimately want to be, which is a farmer! The profession that combines (basically) all the sciences and playing outside every day. 🙂