By Megan Weeber
I was on the search for a book at San Francisco’s legendary Green Apple bookstore. My husband picked up something called Growing a Revolution by David Montgomery and said “What about this one?” I flipped through it and gleaned that Professor Montgomery travels the world to understand how land stewards are restoring soil health using regenerative agriculture. What the heck is “Regenerative Agriculture”? I sure didn’t know. Traveling the world? Now that was something I understood and I’m always down to read a travel book.
Hi, I’m Megan. I’m 41 years old and have no background in agriculture or science. I grew up in the burbs, went to college, and for the last ten years have worked in the corporate world. For a long time, I’d wanted to shift into a career I was passionate about, but nothing clicked until I happened upon Growing a Revolution. Reading this book in 2019, while we were living in Austin, Texas, has had a snowball effect on my life. I started by looking up every farmer, rancher, and organization Professor Montgomery mentioned. And then I read their books and perused their websites. Pretty soon I was knee-deep in information on all these amazing land stewards. I was excited but had no idea what to do with my new knowledge. I’m not a rancher, and I don’t think I want to be one. So now what? I continued to take small steps and trusted that those steps would help a city slicker like me blaze a regenerative trail and eventually, I would land right where I needed to be.
A fan of the Savory Institute, I decided to take their Foundations of Holistic Management course to get my feet wet. I also came across a three-day seminar called “Women Leading Regeneration” that an organization called Regenerative Rising in Boulder, Colorado was offering. Attending this was a pivotal step on my journey because I met many women who have helped me make forward progress. That’s where I met Diana and first learned about Soil Centric. As with all the amazing women I met, I made sure to follow her organization on social media.
Things were moving slower than I wanted them to be. I found it to be challenging to understand what a person without an ag or science background could do to make a living supporting the regenerative agriculture movement. I followed every single account I could find on Instagram and LinkedIn and decided to create my own Instagram account where I could really nerd out on this stuff without annoying my friends and family. Through this simple step, I was able to find out about events and different offerings from various organizations that are part of this movement. For instance, I gained more direct ag experiences by attending a turkey harvest and field day at Roam Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas. I loved it! There are so many amazing producers working in Central Texas and I was so lucky to have access to talk to these folks weekly at the Farmer’s Markets. The more I talked to them, the more I knew I needed to keep trying to figure out where I fit into the puzzle.
In April of 2022, I learned the Savory Institute was conducting a training for their Ecological Outcome Monitoring (EOV) program. OMG! A way to be on the ground without working full time on a ranch. I had to go. Alas, the timing was not right, the course was full and I would have to wait a full year before it would be offered again. While I was committed to waiting, I did not want to stand still for 12 months. Every month or so, the Savory Institute does a meet-up for anyone who would like to join and hear about recent happenings. I’d joined before and didn’t have any new questions, but what did I have to lose by joining again? Another woman joined as well and talked passionately about Dr. Elaine’s Soil Food Web School. As always, I took note and looked it up later. Soil microbes? I am definitely NOT a scientist. But who am I to say no to a challenge? More small steps to find my way; I decided to take Dr. Elaine’s Foundation Courses.
2023 was a big year for me. I finally took the EOV training with the Savory Institute and LOVED IT. The people, the land, the knowledge building! After finishing the Soil Food Web School’s Foundation Courses, I decided this was a great opportunity for a person with my (lack of) background to have a tangible skill once completed. I enrolled in their Consultant Training program and am now officially a trained Soil Food Web lab technician! With any luck, I’ll have two biologically complete compost piles this spring to earn the right to move forward to the next level of consultant training.
Last year I also learned about Soil Centric’s Regenerative Action Ambassadors. This new program aimed to help regenerative hopefuls find their way in the movement. I applied for it and got in. How fun! I knew I needed it to be low-key as I had a lot on my plate already. It fit the bill. Through the RAA program, I made new regenerative-curious friends and I heard firsthand from regenerative superstars. Not only did I get to speak to them directly, but now I also had a CONNECTION. That’s huge.
You never know what will lead to what, but if you love something enough, you keep taking those forward steps and trust you’ll figure it out. Five years after reading that “travel” book, I can now say I DO work in agriculture and I DO work in the sciences! Hell Yes.
All of the photography was provided by Megan, thank you for sharing your journey with us!