"Meat" the Team - Ryan (JR) Jenkins

Updated: Feb 11

Sometimes certain experiences will bring on new opportunities. Has that ever happened to you? Did you meet someone or visit a certain place and knew that you had to be a part of it? That's how JR came to be a part of our team. Follow along as he shares how he came to be a part of our regenerative farm in Cambridge, Illinois.

"I was born and raised in Muscatine, Iowa by the most supportive parents ever, I am blessed. I have one little brother who works on a family farm in Southern Iowa. We had little exposure to agriculture growing up, we rode horses and got bumps and bruises at our Aunt and Uncle’s but it was a lot more play than work. Michael got interested in livestock in high school and I didn’t find my passion until later on, I actually went to college to become a pilot on a swimming scholarship.

After college I was introduced to livestock, I was instantly hooked. I surrounded myself with it, constantly helping whoever and wherever I could until I got my first job on a family farm in central Iowa, they were great, they treated me like I was family and taught me a lot of the work ethic I have today.

Years later I made the decision to move back to Muscatine where I expanded on my livestock experience and had a lot of great opportunities to become a better cattleman. I was mentored by an amazing man on low stress livestock handling and fence building. I took that knowledge and started my own custom fencing business, where one project in Cambridge, IL introduced me to the Bottens family. I saw their interesting practices I didn’t fully understand, but it kept me thinking differently.

A couple months later, I made a phone call and asked how I could be apart of regenerative agriculture, which turned into a great career.

Sometimes my girlfriend Melissa has to remind me that this is work and I need to take a break, so we will take our horses and go camping or travel whenever we get the chance.

I’m having fun following my passion and I truly feel like I have the best job ever."

You can talk with JR on one of our next Grazing Tours! Find more information here.

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