fellowship program

Mad Agriculture is offering 7 fellowship opportunities to advance our mission to create a new agrarian culture that reimagines our relationship with the cosmos and one another. We need passionate, hard-working, big-hearted, self-starting folks that are excited to manifest their passion for living well on earth within the programs of Mad Ag. We are in startup mode – the pace of growth is high, the action is fun and everyday thrums with the energy of bringing light to the world.

 The fellowship is designed to empower a new generation of thinkers and doers that are creating solutions to grand challenges in agriculture, community and environment. The fellowship is unpaid and requires 10 – 40 hours/week depending on your capacity to engage, project demands and whether you’re a student fulfilling a fellowship commitment. The fellowship is 12 months and begins November 1st, 2018. Most positions require people to be based in the Front Range of Colorado to attend regular meetings and events. Our goal is to fill the positions by October 21st, yet remain open until filled.

How do we work and what can you expect? Working at Mad Ag will be a crash course in creating a new food system. Your consciousness will expand, and never be the same. We see no division between the work of the heart, soul and mind. We crack it all open, with the belief that the power to affect change lies in the interplay between these realms. We troll the depths of human nature and don’t shy away from hard topics. We like solving problems by blending the dimensions of agriculture, social psychology, aspirational politics, philosophy, science, carbon cycling, ecology, sacred economics, movement building, markets, poetry, innovation and more. Then, we focus on putting our thoughts and dreams into action. 

How will you grow? Mad Ag is a container for growth and discovery; a community to express your passion, find belonging and meaning; a platform to build your portfolio, and mature hard and soft skills; time and space to find your path; and, an opportunity to expand your network. We are excited to help fellows connect with organizations and leaders in a vibrant and growing community of change, so fellows can move boldly in their careers and fulfill their dreams of work and play. 

Basic Routine: We have weekly team meetings on Monday of each week at the Rayback Collective in Boulder, with individual 15-minute check-ins each Friday, and meetings as needed in between. We have no centralized office space. Conferences, events, and spontaneous meetings are occasional to frequent, which is part of the fun and work. 


 Anna-Karin, a Mad Ag Fellow, tours the Marin Carbon Project with John Wick.

Anna-Karin, a Mad Ag Fellow, tours the Marin Carbon Project with John Wick.

How to Apply

Send an inquiry to Philip@madagriculture.org

Please answer these questions (<200 words each):

1)   What called you to Mad Agriculture?

2)   How do you want to grow in the fellowship? 

3)   What are your 5-year goals?

 Please share a piece of work that reflects your passion and perspective – poetry, a photograph, an essay, art, an apple pie or anything.  Also, send your resume with 1 reference. 

 


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Who are we? Why are we here? What are we for? Where and how do you thrive? What does it means to call Earth ‘Home’? What kind of world do we want to create? What does it mean to heal our relationship to the Earth? How do we create a culture that allows humans and ecosystems to thrive together? 

 Facts cannot answer these questions, but stories can. Story is what we live in and live for. Stories inspire, give hope, start revolutions, bring down empires, and catalyze social movements that bring justice. I cannot think of a more powerful rally cry for change than MLK’s proclamation, ‘ I have a dream.’  At Mad Agriculture, we are continually dreaming about the future we are creating. Radical imagination is the foundation for creating a more just, beautiful and abundant world. We are in the midst of an imagination-battle with other forces, often antagonistic; they are fighting for their stories to be told, known and lived in. We need a new narrative, a new mythology of who we are and what is good for the world and us. Help us develop and share our story, and make the revolution irresistible. 

 Fellowship Goals include: 1) Promote and develop Mad Ag’s brand and story, with a focus on developing digital media presence with content (copy and photos) creation for Instagram, Facebook and Website work. 2) Develop workflow and project management platform for social media, and organize existing content for future use on social media. 3) Help design, launch, produce and co-edit The New Agrarian, a quarterly pamphlet launching on the winter solstice. 

Preferred Experience: A track record of social media engagement or brand strategy, copywriter and storytelling experience. Access to a great camera is highly recommended. 


We work with some of the boldest, most radical and inspiring people and organizations reimagining what it means to live well on Earth. We are in the midst of an imagination-battle with other forces, often antagonistic; they are fighting for their stories to be told, known and lived in. We need a new narrative, a new mythology of who we are and what is good for the world and us. Help us develop and share our story, and make the revolution irresistible. We need help telling these stories and sharing our good work with the world. 

We know that photography or a short film can say much more than words. We are looking for a fellowship that wants to build their portfolio working with Mad Agriculture. The photography and films would be use for social media, advocacy, education, and fundraising campaigns. This fellowship will require time in the field, documenting our collective work. This could be a remote fellowship with occasional trips to the Colorado Front Range. 

Fellowship Goals include: 1) Help Mad Ag develop a voice and brand with visual arts. 2) Develop photography and video content and catalogs for social media and general promotion through digital platforms. 3) Create short films of our projects, showcasing our partners, work on the ground and vision for the future. 4) Collaborate on the Mad Farmer documentary series with LUCA media collective. See www.madafarmer.org

Preferred Experience: A track record in photography and making films, and access to appropriate software and cameras. 

(Photo: Filming The Mad Farmer series with LUCA Media Collective by Jane Zelikova, Ph.D. (LUCA, Carbon 180, 500 W Scientists)

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Humanity is starved for community. We believe that community is the lynchpin of human belongingand happiness, and creates the human ecosystem of cooperation and activism to drive revolutions. Mad Ag hosts a variety of events to build community. The Farm Forum – our primary monthly event in Boulder County – brings people together in unexpected ways, bridging divides in the open space of democracy, by deepening our relationship with ourselves, each other and with nature. The purpose of the Farm Forum is to create community, discover intergenerational wisdom and support one another in building a healthy, vibrant food and fiber system. The forum is not about seeking answers and making judgments, but rather sharing, learning, and opening our hearts and minds to all possibilities and potential of collective belonging. We believe that love is the root of good, and love gives birth to a constellation of virtues that will make this world a more beautiful, connected and just place for all. 

 Fellowship Goals include: 1) Help run the Farm Forum, including everything from big ideas about topics to covering the nuts and bolts of monthly pickup of goods from Moxie Bread, Cured, Trident and other sponsors. 2) Take charge on Farm Forum set up and cleanup. 3) Help find additional local sponsorship. 4) Collaborate on promotional art and advertising. 5) Distill learning from the Farm Forum and share with community through writing and monthly newsletter updates. 6) Help design and orchestrate a late-fall fundraiser for Mad Agriculture. 7) Help create and manage other events with partner organizations, like the National Young Farmers Coalition and Colorado Carbon Fund. 8) Help build and manage mailing lists.

(Photo: Mad Agriculture Farm Forum discussing needed changes in land use policy in Boulder County to support farmers.)


Agricultural policy is complex and often highly factitious. The current Farm Bill, and especially what’s being proposed in the House for the next Farm Bill, is dysfunctional and creates perverse incentives for degrading ecosystems while hurting the farm and ranch economy by driving us further down the vortex of the agro-industrial machine. We need better policies that reward and incentivize good farm and ranch practices. Finding common ground can be hard. However, we strongly believe that the concept of soil health is the great unifying topic and soil welfare program of our time. The health of the land and people is one and indivisible. Reinvesting in soil is a matter of conservation, stewardship, responsibility, and for many, an act of patriotism. Farmers and ranchers of every political stripe understand this, though it can be difficult to implement the practices to make soil healthy again. Producers need technical and financial assistance, and a suite of policies that empower a reinvestment in soil health. 

Mad Ag is helping bring a wide array of stakeholders together to rally around and push for Healthy Soils legislation in Colorado. We are deeply plugged into the movements and success happening in other states, interacting and learning from other leaders and organizations working to create legislation to build soil and a thriving farm and ranch economy. With heavy polarization and dubious leadership at the federal level, states are taking destiny in their own hands. This fellowship would be focused on creating state-level action in Colorado. Secondarily, the fellow would help shape local policy action and strategy in Boulder County, working to reform arcane policies hampering the ability for farmers to thrive in Boulder County, Colorado. 

Fellowship Goals include: 1) Help launch theColorado Soil Coalition - a nascent nonpartisan policy coalition creating a policy platform for a Healthy Soils Bill in CO. 2) Help advise and shape policy platforms for aspirational politicians.3) Work to change Boulder County land use policy, working closely with the Flatirons chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition. 

 Preferred Experience: Policy background, or actively pursuing career in policy and/or law degree with strong interest in agricultural policy. (Photo: Marcus McCauley pondering how to heal this highly degraded land, which is underway!) 

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Carbon farming is a rising movement within regenerative agriculture that focuses on carbon as the central element on which all agriculture depends. Carbon is the currency of life and drives the economy of nature. It is the cornerstone of soil health and impetus of many ecological functions. Carbon-rich agroecosystems are thus more resilient to environmental stress, like drought and heat, which are increasing with climate change. Carbon farming has the power to transform vast landscapes of commodities into ecologically vibrant agroecosystems. 

Our Carbon Farm & Ranch Program is a holistic approach to farm and ranch design and operation that maximizes the use of carbon-beneficial practices to create agroecosystems that are rich in soil health, diversity, resilience and productivity. Mad Ag is designing and implementing carbon farm and ranch plans in Colorado. Inspired by the success of the Carbon Cycle Institute, Fibershed, and the Marin Carbon Project, Mad Agriculture is bringing the CFP model to the Rocky Mountains and High Plains with a grand vision of helping every farm and ranch realize the ecological, social and economic wealth that CFPs generate for land and people. 

We’re looking for a fellow that has a strong passion for landscape and agricultural design, planning and implementation, and is hungry to learn from frameworks of permaculture and holistic grazing. Fellowship Goals include: 1) Take a deep dive in agricultural landscape design and planning, both intellectually and in practice. 2) On the ground field trips to learn about carbon farming practice and implementation, working with soil health and agricultural experts from the National Resource Conservation Service, Mad Agriculture, Boulder County and City, and many other project partners. 3) Mapping carbon farm and ranch plans in space and time, using a combination of spatial software, such as Google Earth Pro, ArcGIS and/or iGIS, and planning software.4) Use the COMET-Farm Tool developed at CSU to estimate and understand the carbon outcomes of implementation soil conservation practices. 5) Help develop an open-source Carbon Farm Plan toolkit to be shared widely and used in training workshops. 6) Help train other technical service providers in carbon farm and ranch planning and design. 

Preferred Experience: Background or active training in landscape, farm and ranch design, with experience in spatial software or a very strong desire to learn and use it as a profession. 


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Our Carbon Farm & Ranch Program is a holistic approach to farm design and operation that maximizes the use of carbon-beneficial practices to create agroecosystems that are rich in soil health, diversity, resilience and productivity. Mad Ag is designing and implementing carbon farm and ranch plans in Colorado. Inspired by the success of the Carbon Cycle Institute, Fibershed, and the Marin Carbon Project, Mad Agricultureis bringing the CFP model to the Rocky Mountains and High Plains with a grand vision of helping every farm and ranch realize the ecological, social and economic wealth that CFPs generate for land and people. 

We need an assistant project manager, who takes ownership and responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, control and closure of our carbon farm and ranch projects. The project manager must have a combination of skills including an ability to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions, and navigate stakeholder interests with the ability to find alignment and resolve conflicts. The project manager tries to mitigate and control risk and minimize uncertainty.

Fellowship Goals include: 1) Work to develop carbon farm and ranch planning workflow, including help plan and define scope of projects, scheduling meetings, field trips, and sequencing steps toward project completion; 2)help develop farm-by-farm operational budgets, including costs and expected returns of carbon beneficial practices, including monetary outcomes as other ecosystems services; 3) working with multiple stakeholders to achieve mutual goals; 4) help develop an open-source Carbon Farm Plan toolkit to be shared widely and used in training workshops, including management software (i.e. Basecamp); 5) help train other technical service providers in carbon farm and ranch project management; and, work to optimize our system and theory of change for maximum scalability, interoperability and portability.


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Our Carbon Farm & Ranch Program is a holistic approach to farm design and operation that maximizes the use of carbon-beneficial practices to create agroecosystems that are rich in soil health, diversity, resilience and productivity. Mad Ag is designing and implementing carbon farm and ranch plans in Colorado. Inspired by the success of the Carbon Cycle Institute, Fibershed, and the Marin Carbon Project, Mad Agricultureis bringing the CFP model to the Rocky Mountains and High Plains with a grand vision of helping every farm and ranch realize the ecological, social and economic wealth that CFPs generate for land and people. 

This position is for someone that has an insatiable appetite for learning about regenerative agricultural practices and putting them into action by helping our partner farms and ranches. On all of the farms and ranches we work with, we are pushing the boundaries of regenerative agriculture, with lots of experimentation. This fellow needs to love the soil and getting dirt beneath the fingernails. 

 The fellowship goals include: 1) reading and learning voraciously from books and people around the country in the movement of regenerative agriculture, 2) networking and field trips across the Front Range to learn what farms and ranchers are already doing and willing to try in carbon farming to build a community of change, and 3) working on-the-ground with partner farms and ranches to implement practices, like planting, spreading compost, digging irrigation ditches, managing prescribed grazing systems and more.