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First Blog Post! My Year in a Nutshell

Seven States, Eleven Ranches, Four Grant Awards

regenerative agriculture, education, grants, travel, ecological monitoring.

Much has happened since last August - so much so that I am struggling to keep track of it all. While my primary intention of this first blog post is to provide an update for my readers, I am also using it as an exercise in gratitude and a reminder to myself of what an amazing first year it has been for Refonte Ventures and for my own personal growth! Diving headfirst into my first year as a business woman, I traveled to seven states for the exciting projects that I am about to share with you and for a move, a wedding, and a graduation thrown into the middle of it all! Phew…just sweating thinking about it.

Road to a ranch where I did EOV monitoring across four days in Elko, NV. Who knew there are snow-capped mountains and mountain meadows in Nevada?!?

Returning to the Land

Leading into this spring and summer, I was beyond excited to finally be doing EOV monitoring on my own! Hold up…what is EOV monitoring you ask? It stands for Ecological Outcome Verification. In a nutshell it is a way of capturing data on the ecological improvements that farmers and ranchers are making through mindful management of their land and animals. No one is telling them how to manage the piece of land that they have grown up on and learned to understand better than anyone else. Simply put, “the proof is in the pudding” as to whether their management is moving the needle of ecological health in a positive direction or not.

Leading a rowdy bunch of ranchers, farmers, and interns in an EOV Monitoring boot camp!

I love this stuff, and it’s what I’ve spent years learning and teaching about, so to get the opportunity to finally go out and witness these subtle changes that lead to numerous beneficial impacts, such as holding more water in the soil for longer, on properties all over the globe (I monitor ranches in the Western United States for now, but monitoring globally is the dream!) has been immensely rewarding!

To back up a bit, EOV monitoring is an important part of what I do, in addition to grant-writing, because it is how I keep in touch with the land and the stewards of the land. It is how I keep my flame burning. It reinforces my “why” for when I write.

Turning Vision Into Reality

In Refonte Ventures’ first year, I was able to secure four grants with the most recent being the icing on the cake - a federal Farm to School Grant for Happy Goat, Inc.! This award is definitely a dream come true for myself and many others as it marks the genesis of the first Farm to School Program in a small, underserved, rural town - leading to exciting new learning opportunities for students.

I believe I’ll pause there as this segues perfectly into my next post: Why did I start Refonte Ventures in the first place and what is the story behind it? Stay tuned and follow Refonte Ventures on Facebook for all the latest updates!

The Happy Goat, Inc. team, taking a group photo for the James Beard Foundation Award secured by Refonte Ventures.

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