As with a transformation of foliage, or a noticeable swing in temperature that indicates a transition from one season to the next, there’s a change taking place

Three New Apprentices Join Our Team

budding leaves


As with a change of foliage or a noticeable swing in temperature that indicates a transition from one season to the next, there’s a change taking place at TomKat Ranch that signifies a ‘new season’ for our apprenticeship program. With the start of a new year, we welcomed three new apprentices. Each brings various skill-sets that will support our regenerative land management journey, particularly as the TomKat Ranch herd expands to include goats in addition to cattle, on our grazing adventure. With that in mind, please meet:

Catherine AhSamCatherine AhSam: Catherine grew up in the small town of El Sobrante located in the East Bay Area. She aspired to be a veterinarian in her younger years and worked towards acquiring experience with animals, volunteer work, and social justice. Upon graduating high school, she attended California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo along California’s central coast. Majoring in Animal Science, Catherine studied veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, and worked directly with the university’s livestock, true to the school’s motto of “learn by doing.”

Scotch Fly

Scotch Fly ready for action

She took a liking to Cal Poly’s Sheep and Goat program, eventually working as a Sheep and Goat manager in her last two years of undergrad. She ran sheep and goats on campus to create fire breaks, suppress weeds, and educate other students on animal health, management, and herding.

After Catherine graduated in 2018, she launched a contract grazing business, partnering with another grazier with 20+ years of experience in the industry. Under the name, The Goat Girls LLC, a herd of 900 combined sheep and goats grazed throughout San Luis Obispo County with her trusty Border Collie, Scotch Fly. After 3 years of business, Catherine has joined TomKat Ranch to design and operate its new and upcoming goat program–with Scotch Fly by her side.​

Chris CarvalhoChris Carvalho: Chris grew up in the agricultural area of Watsonville, CA on a small family farm where they raised their own grass-fed beef and hogs. Throughout his childhood, he was involved in the Green Valley 4-H program. About five years ago Chris decided to get back to his roots in agriculture. He has always been passionate about ranching, striving to do it in a way that has a positive impact on our earth. That’s when he came across TomKat Ranch and figured it would be a great place to further his education in regenerative agriculture.

“I am looking forward to learning how grazing plans can truly impact our soil and make for a better environment.”

Stephanie Pittman: For the past decade, Stephanie raised livestock in pasture-based systems at for-profit ranches and educational nonprofits across the country. Most recently she managed a sheep herding program that ran 2,500 head on 7,500 acres in central coastal California. As a shepherd, she strives to contribute an example of how humanely-raised meat, via good grazing practices, fits into climate resiliency.

“I’m jazzed to join an organization dedicated to supporting the ecological relationship between rangelands and ruminants, especially during unprecedented drought, desertification, and wildfire.”

Stephanie Pittman’s crew, Kassie Reggie Bjorn Floki, ready for action

Stephanie Pittman’s crew: Kassie, Reggie, Bjorn, and Floki.

Through her work at TomKat Ranch, Stephanie looks forward to further explorations into how skilled animal husbandry, solid stockmanship, and innovative grazing help craft a high-functioning ecosystem. 

“Meat is grass is sun!”