Goodbye: Change is our only Constant
Scott Gallant and Laura Killingbeck joined the Ranch team as interns in January of 2010. The following year they joined the Ranch team as co-directors. From then until the present they have been instrumental in developing numerous critical systems and practices that have greatly contributed to the Ranch’s success. Their work in the areas of agroforestry, education, finance, human resources, marketing and food systems helped to revolutionize the Ranch in countless ways. In recent months they have both decided to leave the Ranch to pursue other endeavors and are stepping down as Ranch core team members.
Scott is largely responsible for what the Ranch will be producing in its orchards for decades to come. He designed and planted out the majority of the perennial polyculture systems throughout the farm. He created and has maintained our orchard nurseries, taught hundreds of students the basics of food production in the tropics, and introduced a legion of others to the principles of permaculture as the Ranch’s lead permaculture teacher for a half-decade. He was also a crucial player in the development of the Ranch’s new website a few years back, has helped to get our financial systems on firm footing, worked to professionalize our educational services and much more.
Laura worked in a wide array of areas around the Ranch, including farm-to-table foodsheds, fermentation, program development, and community structures. Laura brought about dramatic changes to our food systems and educational programs, and helped to make our food processing space, the foodsmithery, a reality. She developed the Ranch's food and fermentation program and curriculum, co-taught the Ranch's first in-house class, and went on to teach thousands more people how to use local foods. She also instigated the creation and development of many of the Ranch’s invisible structures and worked to put into place systems to better organize and govern the Ranch business and community. Her work has also led the Ranch to develop policies and practices to improve our communication skills and create a space that is safe for everyone that uses our campus.
Scott and Laura challenged the Ranch to change the transient culture that characterized the Ranch when they arrived and brought stability with their presence over time. They were crucial in making decisions to increase the length of our internship program, eliminate short-term volunteers and create a more balanced community. They both worked tirelessly to develop our world-class apprenticeship over a multi-year period.
Scott and Laura were also critical players in the Ranch’s transition to participating in the local food movement. This has reduced the Ranch’s reliance on imported staple foods and increased our presence in Mastatal's local foods economy.
Scott and Laura lived and worked at the Ranch during some of our most challenging years. Through a period of limited financial resources, Scott and Laura worked long hours for minimal compensation while we struggled to improve our systems, generate more revenue, and create private spaces for our long-term members.
We wish both Scott and Laura success in their respective endeavors. They are two of the most influential people that have ever come through the Ranch gate.
Laura anticipates exploring the world by bicycle while developing her writing profile. She is actively writing on themes of travel, gender, and adventure.
You can follow along with their future adventures on instagram @laurakillingbeck and @scottplantstrees.