On behalf of the Grassfed Exchange 2022 planning committee, happy new year! We are excited to invite you to encourage young farmers in your network to apply for The Herd Fellows Scholarship by March 5th. This is a scholarship to the Grassfed Exchange Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on May 18-20, 2022.
About The Herd Fellowship
The Herd Fellowship is supported by a group of foundations and family offices that believe the next generation of land stewards are an essential part of the grassfed, regenerative movement. Since 2016, the Herd Fellows program has expanded to a joint Fellows alumni network of 200 young farmers, ranchers, land stewards, and advocates who have either attended the Grassfed Exchange or the Regenerate Conference hosted in New Mexico.
About The Grassfed Exchange
The Grassfed Exchange attracts an intellectually curious group of farmers and livestock producers. Over the past 12 years, GFE has attracted a national following of farmers eager to practice, or already practitioners of grassland management and pasture-based livestock agriculture.
In April of 2019, we brought the largest, most diverse group of 550 producers and food system leaders ever to Grassfed Exchange conference in Santa Rosa, California. We are excited to get the regenerative family together again!
Why attend this year
This is the first year the Grassfed Exchange has come to Texas. We're excited to deepen connections between the GFE attendees and the vibrant, big-hearted producer community in Texas. This year's conference theme, “Rooted in Wisdom", is focused specifically on a “big tent” ethos in broadening our community and welcoming farmers, producers, and food system leaders from all walks. We are centering a diverse, intergenerational set of voices, focusing on how to make the future of regenerative agriculture successful.
Herd Fellows Experience
Scholarship includes a full ride to the Grassfed Exchange conference, including travel, lodging, and accessing a network of hundreds of regenerative mentors. Tuition only scholarships are also available to cover the registration to the conference. We spotlight Herd Fellows throughout the conference, host a Fellows and Mentors welcome reception, and connect them with mentor tables at lunches.
HERD fellows have gone on to apprentice for ranches they met at the Grassfed Exchange Conference, built mentor relationships with speakers at our conferences, and even joined the Grassfed Exchange leadership committee.
Any new or young farmer, student, intern, or apprentice under 35 or veteran under 45 is welcome to apply. Rooted in Wisdom is all about building a diverse, inclusive community for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. The Grassfed Exchange is committed to increasing the number of young farmers, women, farmers of color, and returning veterans in our producer community through this scholarship. We are committed to building a welcoming space for you. If you aren't sure whether you should apply, you should! We want you here.
Herd Fellows will be selected by March 10th.
The HERD will offer 13 full ride 'Herd Fellow' Scholarships and 16 tuition scholarships to the 2022 Grassfed Exchange Conference. All applicants will be notified by March 10th so that young farmers not selected can still register for Early Bird pricing by March 15th.
To help you succeed in your application, our selection criteria are:
1. Commitment – Evidence that they want to make something big happen in regenerative agriculture
2. Amplification – Opportunity for the candidate to impact others with what they learn
3. Awesomeness – A compelling and unique story
4. Need – Bias to give full scholarships to those with highest obstacles to attend
5. Context – Why they’re a good fit for this conference at this time
6. Resolve / Resilience – How a candidate has overcome challenges in life so far, “distance traveled” to where they are today
7. Diversity – People from diverse perspectives that will bring richness and intellectual
polyculture to our community
Written candidate applications submitted via the web are independently reviewed and then collectively selected by a volunteer panel of board members and advisors. This year's GFE Herd Fellows selection panel includes: Chad Bitler, Kelsey Ducheneaux, Deborah Clark, Shane Hardy, Loren Poncia, Erin Kiley, Joe Morris, Wayne Rasmussen, and Cindy Glaser.
Accessibility: If you need any additional accommodations to complete this application and to be considered for the 2022 Herd Fellowship, please contact Chad Bitler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
From Diana Grenawalt (Beloit, WI):
“Thank you so much for choosing me to attend the conference. As I am riding the bus home my mind is alive with ideas. This is a stark difference from my trip down. I was so tired and hopeless for our farming community - and for our own personal success as farmers.
Being a Herd Fellow at the Grassfed Exchange conference was nothing like what expected. I was prepared to be a face in the crowd and come home with a few new ideas. Because of being a herd fellow I was introduced to so many influential individuals - from traditional farmers and ranchers looking a change, to brilliant scientists, to already successful direct marketers - have never felt so welcome by a group of people.
Thank you for putting me in the position where I needed to switch on my brain again. From this, it is my mission to go home and network with my friends who have lost hope in farming. My goal is to help stop the death of the family farm in our area. I hope I can make a tiny ripple.
All I can say is - you all 'did good' :)Thank you.”
From John Filbrun (West Alexandria, OH):
“Thank you so much for all your efforts in making it possible for each of us to come! As you get the opportunity to share our deepest gratitude with each of the sponsors and everyone else that made the opportunity possible!
I am so grateful that I was able to attend the grass-fed exchange for the first time. I was very blessed to be able to learn from and connect with people that are further down the path of regenerative agriculture it was so very helpful and I felt like I come home with so much to apply. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
From Sadie Bolze (Crawford, NE):
“I just wanted to thank you so much for the opportunity to be a Herd Fellow this year at the GFX. I met many amazing folks that are really impacting our industry on a daily basis. I also really enjoyed the Herd Fellow banquet! It was fantastic to make contacts and friends with others my age that are striving to be involved in the industry.
All three days was like a fire hose of information! I loved it.
Thank you so much for the opportunity, all the hard work, and effort you put forth in allowing me to come and glean wisdom from the "powerhouse" folks!
Can't wait to see you in Rapid City.”
From Mariah and David Boatright (Booneville, MO):
“David and I thoroughly enjoyed Grassfed Exchange this past week. We learned so much from each of the speakers and the farms we visited. We also met many individual people and created many relationships that, I believe, will be tremendously helpful as we continue to pursue our grass-fed farming dream. Gaining those special contacts is absolutely priceless.
We could not thank you and the board of Grassfed Exchange enough for the generous scholarship we received. Our trip to Albany would not have happened without your support of us as young farmers.
Thank you for catering to us and providing a special evening for us on Wednesday!
We had a wonderful trip home (I was even able to sit next to a fellow Grassfed attendee on the airplane and discuss our time there!) We were eager to get home and tell our friends and family about the great experience we had and all the things we learned. The Grassfed Exchange has given us encouragement to keep going. After attending the conference, I gained a stronger sense of confidence in why we do what we do. We are eager to keep learning and growing our operation. We hope to attend Grassfed Exchange in the years to come.
It's because of people like you and those apart of Grassfed Exchange that keeps us going! Again, thank you, so very much for making it possible for David and I to attend. It was truly a blessing to us and our farm.”