Meet the Farmer Apprentices

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2017 Farmer Apprenticies: l to r: Nicanor Ortega, Matthew Encinas and Shane Tolbert -Photo by Donne Gonzales
The NMAA is excited to introduce the apprentices for our new Los Sembradores Farmer Training initiative, which started in February. The three apprentices will work with our Farm Training Coordinator, Donne Gonzales, for a 11-month comprehensive training program. The apprentices will learn using a 15 point curriculum that was developed by our partners, American Friends Service Committee, based on the successful farming methods of Don Bustos. The main training site is Chicoyole Farm in Chamisal, but the apprentices will also be working on their respective farms as part of the program, as well as other area farms.
We are pleased to introduce Farmer Apprentices:

Nicanor Ortega Taos, NM

Hello, my name is Nicanor Ortega. I am from Taos County. I am a parciante on la Acequia Atalaya de Arroyo Hondo. I am a 27 year old veteran, returned home. I grew up working acequias and having a jardin. My goal and dream is to be a full time farmer living off my land. Also to have the opportunity to feed and help our communities, especially our children. It is an honor to be part of our New Mexico Acequia Association. Thank you and God bless.

 Mathew Encinas Chimayo, NM
My name is Matthew Encinias. I am from Chimayo, NM and a parciante on la Acequia de Espinosas. I am a father and also work for the Santa Fe Community College. I recently got my degree from the community college. My goals are to live off the land and to help prepare our next generation to do the same.
 Shane Tolbert Abiquiu, NM 
Shane Tolbert is trained as an artist and relocated to Abiquiu, NM last year from Houston, TX. I am focused on farming to rebuild soil quality and provide my family, and community with healthy, organic produce. My hobbies include hiking, fly fishing, and bee keeping.