Chipotle Farm Team & Our Journey

A few weeks ago, I walked into the new Chipotle in town for the dozenth or so time, as always, admiring their LED lighting and commitment to natural food.  When I reached the checkout, burrito in tow, a manager approached and asked if I, the guy who has brought in the same Chipotle bag 15 times for re-use, would like to join their Farm Team.  It’s a journey only a few have the opportunity to take (20 per location), so I was in with a grin.

Farm Team – Why Me?

I’m no more special than the next guy, girl, or kitty who cares a whole lot.  Sure, there are standard perks to the invite.  I got a free burrito.  But I don’t think that’s why they chose me.  It’s not a simple thank you for being a frequent patron.  To start, the manager asked me “why do you come here?”  I just pointed at their mission and said I loved it – in many ways, it is also my mission.

Farm Team, and the journey it unlocks,  is Chipotle’s way of saying “see all this sustainable farming stuff we support?  We rock.  You should tell everyone we do, too.”  I’m a little bit convinced so far.  There’s a long way to go, lots to learn, and share.

The Design

Farm Team’s a big, sweet application packed full of goodies.  There are four full chapters of content, each split into three parts.  A new part unlocks each week, which means it’ll take me over 70 days to experience everything.

Farm Team Main PageEach part is stocked with five different things to do:

  1. Points of information (which I can share on Facebook or Twitter) about problems with many modern farming practices (did you know that industrial cows produce 2 billion pounds of poo a year?  And that no one knows what to do with it, so it sits around in poo ponds that stink up the place and leak into groundwater?  Yikes.  Makes you wonder how much poo pond space remains.)
  2. Questions (which test my knowledge about farming practices – for example, how much light do factory-farmed pigs see each day?  None.)
  3. Polls (like, how hot do I like my salsa?  Super mild, of course.  I’m weak-tongued.)
  4. Games (the tile flip game is too complicated to explain here – ask me about it if you’re curious)
  5. Videos (the first was about Nimen Ranch, a sustainable meat grower who is also committed to rebuilding the heartland’s native grasslands, 99.9% of which have been eradicated)

While learning lots of new stuff, I earn badges for a variety of things (many of them involve sharing content).  I can review my progress and stats, or review previously explored information.  I’m digging it a whole lot so far.

The Journey

According to their founder, Chipotle wants to redefine fast food.

They recently opened the first LEED Platinum certified restaurant (of any type) in the United States.  Here are some of its specs, if you’re interested.  Their commitment to forward thinking design appears to be formidable.

As my journey in Farm Team continues, I will gradually watch the industrial landscape you see in the photo above shift into what they believe the land should look like – green and vibrant.

By offering this opportunity, they have asked me to join in making their vision a reality.  In many ways, their journey is our journey, just on a different level.  I firmly believe that this experience will greatly, in ways I cannot even yet imagine, enhance our ability to make this epic transition.

I am scared – jelly and jittering inside.  But I’m even more excited, leaping to a powerful Irish jig.  The thought of each new day, of life, puts a fat smile on my face.

‘Cause a bunch of really smart, dedicated, clever people got my back.  And, in a weird way I can’t feel at all moments, I’ve got their back(s) as well.


  • Kelsy

    Do you get to visit some of the farms or farmers?

    • rpbancroft

      To be honest, I don’t know! They haven’t revealed everything that we’re able to do just yet. Nimen Ranch is pretty far away, so I don’t know if they’d be in range of a visit. That’d be pretty sweet, though. I’ll let you know if I do.

  • makeripples

    This was a really interesting post Ryu – I can’t wait to hear more! Does Chipotle mention their relationship with migrant farm workers? How are they treated?

    • rpbancroft

      That’s an excellent question! They haven’t said anything about their stance on migrant farm workers yet, or anything about them at all, really. If I encounter anything, I’ll be sure to let y’all know!

  • Kristen

    Thank you for your post. I was invited to the farm team in our location and just finished all the chapters. It was such an exciting journey and while I thought I liked Chipotle before I started, I now want to eat there almost every day. Great stuff!

    • rpbancroft

      And thank you for speaking up! I’m excited to have the chance to talk with another Farm Teamer – since there are only 20 in my town, I haven’t run across any of them yet. I’m really liking the journey so far, too. I’ll be able to access Chapter 3 in 5 days (just finished up all the Chapter 2 stuff), and I’m excited to keep exploring this world. I definitely want more Chipotle after this, as well; I feel better about eating it the more I hear about them. Be well!


  • Whitney

    I’m on the farm team too, in California. Just finished. I have done multiple nutritional cleanses over the past few years, and on every single one of them, I’m allowed to eat Chipotle! That alone makes me love the place. Natural, clean, yummy. Have fun on your journey.

    • rpbancroft

      Wow, that’s awesome! I didn’t know their food qualified for that; very nice!

      I just finished, too, and I’m pumped to see more of where their journey takes them (and the fast food industry). I feel very grateful with how they have helped me out through Farm Team.

      Yay progressive food companies!


  • DS

    Does anyone know where I can get the I <3 Farming Badge.. Only one I need?

    • rpbancroft

      hmm, I never succeeded at getting every single badge, and it’s been so long, I cannot recall how to get that one! I wonder if there’s a site out there that unpacks all of them, though, kind of like that one did for the adventurrito answers?