YA APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM – Meet MB Mentor farmer Ryan Boyd on South Glanton Farms

Posted by Sara Yagelniski on November 18, 2020

Are you an aspiring farmer, rancher or grazier looking to gain the hands-on skills and experience? Are you feeling like you’re not quite ready to start your own business yet but want to keep the dream moving along? South Glanton Farms is excited to offer a meaningful apprenticeship to help you on your farming journey.

About the Farm

South Glanton Farms is a third generation family farm including Ryan, Sarah, Piper and Bingham, Jim and Joanne and Janelle Boyd and we have one full time employee Connor English. The farm is located north of Brandon, Manitoba near Forrest. Our goal is to produce healthy food while improving our local landscape and community while providing a rewarding life to our family.

We are working towards a system that is self sufficient and regenerating, requiring minimal outside input. The farm has evolved from the traditional mixed farm with grain production and cows calving in the winter time to a sprawling grain farm to the current focus which is a moderate scale grazing operation including approximately 400 cows and 400 feeder cattle and some grain production. The cow herd is kept on pasture year round and when weather is extreme bale grazing, swath grazing or corn grazing are utilized. Cow calves on green grass in June and the young calves are kept over winter and grazed a second summer before being sold as long yearlings. All heifers calves are given a chance to breed and enter the cow herd. Heifers that do not breed enter the grassfed beef program and are marketed under our Boyd’s Beef brand. Cattle are moved at least daily in an intensive grazing regime that has shown excellent results.

The breeding program focuses on finding forage efficient animals from within our herd and using those animals as locally adapted seed stock. We integrate the grain production with the cattle by winter grazing annual forage crops and grazing crop residues after harvest in the fall. Grains are produced with minimal inputs and intercropping is practiced when feasible. Planting occurs in May and harvest in August/September. Work is steady each day and we try to keep regular hours 8am-4:30pm outside of the busy spring and summer months. We try to find a reasonable work life balance with reduced workload on the weekends.

I (Ryan Boyd) am 37 years old and have grown up on the farm. I studied agriculture at the university of Manitoba and have an insatiable appetite for learning how to farm focused on Agroecology. I believe there are many options to farm in a way that promotes biodiversity and creates many positive down stream effects. Determined to make a living as a farmer and not compromise this ambition with the desire to live in a vibrant rural community, it has become an obsession of mine over the last 15 years trying to create a profitable and resilient farming system that is not simple dependent on ever increasing the acreage of the farm. A perennial forage grazing system is the most logical way to achieve these goals at our scale.

We focus on working with nature making the grazing of perennial forage central to our operations. Care is taken to maximize our effective rainfall and provide habitat for all sorts of biodiversity. We take pride in the community that we farm in and believe that farming can produce abundant food while improving the soil resources and the environment in which we farm.



About the Apprenticeship

The apprentice must have a drivers license, a passion for regenerative agriculture, steel toe boots and appropriate work clothes for all seasons.

Myself, Ryan Boyd would be the main mentor. I am the owner and manager of the farm and work on the farm every day.

Apprentice would work with myself, my dad or Connor and be involved in day to day caring for livestock. Building permanent and temporary electric fence, setup water systems and moving water troughs and daily grazing management. Low stress cattle handling techniques will be used daily. Calving management will be learned as we calve on pasture in June. Routine maintenance and minor repairs of atvs, vehicles and farm machinery will take place as well. The apprentice will learn what we look for when selecting grass fed beef to be marketed direct to consumer and have opportunity to see how they are processed and sold. The apprentice will also be exposed to grain farming but the emphasis will be on intensive cattle grazing systems and leave with a solid understanding of soil health principles, planned grazing, and stockmanship. 


Skills this farm has to teach: 

The following skills are being offered by this farm. While you’ll get exposure to many of these areas, it is likely that not all will be covered. Apprentices will work to identify the skills they want to develop to a learning plan with the host farm.

LIVESTOCK HEALTH Observing Direct marketing
LOW STRESS LIVESTOCK HANDLING Observing meat processing
grazing management Pasture Soil health
Machine maintenence stockmanship
FENCING Grain farming

Housing, Stipend and Duration

We have an old two story farm house that includes rural water supply. Nothing fancy but very functional.

Grassfed beef will be available. Fresh garden vegetables and apples in season.

Laundry is available on the farm and internet service will be provided.

Minimum wage paid on an hourly basis minus a $500 per month for accommodation. We are prepared to pay full wage for the right apprentice.

About the Community

Forrest MB is a quaint small community 15 minutes away from the city of Brandon.  Located in Treaty 2 Territory and  the traditional homelands of the Dakota, Anishinaabe, Oji-Cree, Cree, Dene and Metis peoples.

Young Agrarians acknowledges the harm that was and is caused to Indigenous people all across what is colonially known as Canada through the settlement of land and displacement of Indigenous people from their homes and territories. The development of agriculture has drastically changed the landscape and culture. We want to work toward a more just and inclusive food system that values the voices that have not been centered at the heart of food growing and distribution.

This farm, like many others, is surrounded by agricultural land, uncultivated land, Indigenous people and voices from non-settler walks of life. We encourage everyone to build relationship with the land and community that surrounds the place where you will be learning.

South Glanton Farms is close to a lot of beautiful uncultivated land and hiking trails – 1 hour from Riding Mountain National Park (Okanese people homelands) and about 25 minutes from Brandon Hills trails.

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

Deadline January 31, 2021.

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Manitoba Apprenticeships being offered in 2021 here. 

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