From Animal Husbandry to Land stewardship

Bre Owens & Wendell Gilgert

Cobblestone Ranch | Point Blue Conservation Science

Bre Owens, owner of Cobblestone Ranch, sits down with her mentor Wendell Gilgert with Point Blue Conservation Science. Cobblestone Ranch is a sheep and cattle operation near Chico, California. The operation is based on private property and on federal wildlife refuge lands, so is managed specifically for wildlife habitat. Wendell Gilgert became the Working Lands Program Director with Point Blue Conservation Science after a 34-year career with the NRCS. Point Blue is a nonprofit organization developing science-based conservation approaches to address climate change. In this episode, Bre and Wendell discuss translating animal husbandry into land stewardship, their mentoring relationship, and working with people different from themselves. Enjoy!

Topics discussed:

2:35 What gets you out of bed every morning?

9:16 Passion as another way of saying love for land and animals. Integrating passion for animal husbandry into stewardship for the land, water, and wildlife.

11:25 The value of walking the land and sharing observations. Connecting land and human health.

15:11 Bre considers Wendell her mentor, but Wendell doesn’t consider himself a mentor to Bre.

17:25 Wendell reflects on how his perspective on life has changed as he begins the “winter” of his life. He advises young people to be open to serendipity in their careers and relationships with people.

18:42 Wendell tells the story of how he started his career with the NRCS.

21:29 Bre compares mentorship styles between her mentors at Point Blue. She recommends seeking out a variety of mentors.

25:46 “Don’t shut yourself off from your neighbor who’s a conventional farmer because he’s not farming the way you want to farm. Go learn from him anyway.” - Wendell

Wendell Gilgert

Wendell Gilgert

28:20 Wendell discusses the difference between having a team of leadership versus a team of leaders. The value of “plus two” listening.

31:44 Book recommendations:

Referenced in this episode:

Cobblestone Ranch

Point Blue Conservation Science

Charlie Wilson’s War

Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

The Shepard’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks