“Veganizing the Farmer, Families, their Land & the Planet”
Rancher Advocacy Program
Once in a generation there’s a convergence of the right people and the right idea, and these elements come together at the right time and in the right place. Rowdy Girl Sanctuary (RGS) and Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP) are shining examples of this convergence. Rowdy Girl Sanctuary (RGS) was born from a rancher’s wife’s love for a calf, Rowdy Girl. Feeding and caring for Rowdy Girl opened Renee’s eyes and heart to the land and the other animals who live on it. Renee King-Sonnen, founder of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, created the world’s first successful cattle ranch transition to a non-profit sanctuary model. Her husband, Tommy, joined RGS as co-founder once he transitioned to vegan. On July 18, 2018, Renee and Rowdy Girl Sanctuary launched the Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP). Now three more ranches are transitioning.
The Rancher Advocacy Program is a global resource that will accelerate farm transitions by bringing resources, academics, film makers, authors, attorneys, lobbyists, and other plant-based and manufacturing experts to the table. Together, we can transition the archaic traditions and culture of animal agriculture into a new normal that will look back on this generation and be proud of the difference we all made for the future.
RAP programming began after the Rowdy Girl story went viral on the CBS Evening News in 2016. Ranchers and their families consistently sought me out about their feelings regarding their cows, their traditions, other family members etc. A unique niche began to develop in the animal rights movement because of these conversations that led me to realize that I was more than an animal rights activist, I was also a Rancher Advocate.
The heartbeat of RAP is the connections I’ve made with ranchers and animal farmers. I’m able to reach that place deep inside where we have common ground. Where we:
- Love animals and kill them
- Love the land, and we destroy it too
- Love our families yet pass down generations of suffering through devastating animal agriculture.
What is the Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP)?
The Rancher Advocacy Program is a platform that addresses complex issues that arise when cattle rancher and/or animal farmer family members:
- Experience emotional conflict regarding the animals they are raising for slaughter and the personal role they currently play in the larger system in which they and their families participate;
- See the reasons – health, ethical, environmental, financial, social – for abandoning the practice of raising animals for slaughter and want to transition away from animal agriculture and the practices associated with factory and family farms;
- Need assistance and support in creating a viable transition plan and business solution as well as creating strategic partnerships in order to convert their ranch or farm to a business that collaborates with the growing world and economic trends of a plant-based future.
How does RAP do it?
RAP is a conduit–a bridge that brings folks from all occupations together to create a network of relationships for buyers, end users and companies within the plant-based sector for potential partnership and coalition building.
We are building a scaffolding blueprint of innovation, ideas, business models, and solutions that is resulting in a new vision for the plant-based economy, farmers, their families, and the land we all love.
We are becoming a central Clearing House for Farm Transition technology and are committed to the evolution of animal agriculture.
Meet Our Ranchers
Traylor Cows Reunited
There is nothing like seeing cows reunited after being separated—-in today’s world it is rare that a family of bovine will ever get to see their brothers and sisters again after being separated. To watch your brothers and sisters slaughtered or to see them bought and sold to the highest bidder at cattle auctions is so heartbreaking.
Texas Cattle Ranch Transitioning in Huntsville, Texas
Cindy and Richard Traylor are living on land that has been in Richards family for over 6 generations. Cattle ranching has always been the way its done on the Traylor Ranch until now!
Hollie and Davey are vegan regenerative ranchers and Davey comes from a 6th generation cattle ranching family where hunting and cow/calf operations have been the normal course of business. But not anymore! The herds stories and their unique relationships is what finally convinced them both that they couldn’t continue the family tradition of cattle ranching.
Starlove Ranch is on track to have one of the most unique vegan wedding venues in the country. And during the midst of a pandemic I cant think of a better place to be with the love of your life. Its outdoors and the vegan vibe there is contagious!
RAP Leads the Barrett Family in Chicken Farm Conversion
The Rancher Advocacy Program is so proud of the Barretts–Jennifer and Rodney Barrett are from Wickes, Arkansas and they are converting what was once a chicken farm into a mushroom farm. This video was picked up by Mercy for Animals and Now This Politics and its going viral!
See how we plan to continue the evolution of the Rancher Advocacy Program.
In February of 2015, Rowdy Girl Sanctuary transitioned from a cattle ranch to a non-profit sanctuary.
In July, the Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP) begins.
Three more ranches across the United States are in transition. Two ranches are in Texas, one is in Arkansas.
Renee joins the board of directors of the newly formed Agriculture Fairness Alliance.
First RAP Summit
In fall 2020, RAP launches its first RAP Summit, an online event bringing together experts and transitioning farmers and ranchers to discuss solutions on how to convert to sustainable, non-animal livelihoods.
Our goal in 2021 is to hold four RAP Summit events to escalate our message across the entire United States.
RAP’s goal is to launch a global strategic platform for bringing RAP to any country in the world.
A new type of sanctuary
RAP’s goal is to launch a new “sanctuary” model that will support large scale numbers of animals leaving factory farms.
A new type of government subsidy
It’s time to transition government grants and support away from animal agriculture and into support for a new, veganic model.
RAP’s goal is to align with Climate Healers’ vision of preventing Year Zero by creating a vegan world by 2026.