The 236th recipients are Sydney Ellbogen and Noah Price of Mountain Bluebird Farm @mountainbluebirdfarm in Hayden, Colorado. They write, “We both stumbled into this line of work unexpectedly in our early twenties, neither of us having come from a background in agriculture. We spent close to ten years working as farmhands in Boulder County, learning the ins and outs of growing organic produce and raising livestock. Our paths crossed working at Black Cat Farm in 2016 where we quickly dreamt up a plan to start our own operation. Three years ago we finally jumped on an opportunity to lease land in the Yampa Valley of northwest Colorado, and Mountain Bluebird Farm was born.
We farm in a small, rural community, and were warmly welcomed and supported from our very first day here. Hayden is a place where your neighbor will plow your driveway before their own, let you borrow a tractor without question, or stop what they’re doing to help out in a pinch. In just a few short months after moving here, we felt like we could put a name to just about every face we saw around town. Our small community has been instrumental in our success from the very start. We even have a friend who runs a local group @agwell_rockymtn that gets farmers and ranchers together once a week to sit down and talk about whatever is on our minds.
The best thing we’ve done to support our mental health is hiring an amazing team of fellow farmers to work alongside us each summer. Our first season we tried to do everything ourselves, and quickly realized that was a path we didn’t want to go down. Hiring full time employees has brought so much more joy and fulfillment to what we do, and totally changed the trajectory of our business. The hard days are a little bit easier when you’re surrounded by great people. It also gives us a little more flexibility during the season to take some time away for ourselves and recharge. Even during the busiest weeks of the year we’ve been able to take a day or two each week to step away from the farm. It’s totally changed our lives, and made it feel like this is something we can do for a long time!”