This letter comes in an effort to be transparent, provide an explanation, and an apology to my friends and business associates. First, let me deal with my apology. Last week an article that I published in a private blog addressing some misrepresentations of myself and the OSR Initiative was used in lieu of my regular “Letter from the Director.” This came about due to my lack of time to provide my usual letter and when asked by my editor if my submission addressing those misrepresentations could be used, I said yes. I totally forgot about the personal elements included in the article. For this error in judgment, I sincerely apologize to everyone. Please, let me further explain.

I am highly involved in and on the boards of five separate entities. Each entity has a specific mission statement, and all involve a diverse group of individuals. Some are members of my church and others are not. However, each one has my respect and commitment to the purpose and objective of each entity. This “Letter from the Director” is brought to you by the Academy of Self-Reliance, a 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to education and research associated with the knowledge needed to become self-reliant as individuals and as communities. 

The Utah OSR Land Cooperative is another board, with which I participate. This entity has been created under the Utah Code Title 3: The Uniform Agricultural Cooperative Association Act to help small agricultural owners and operators produce food, goods, services, and jobs essential for self-reliance.  The Board and Shareholders of this cooperative are diverse in age, ethnicity, religion, and such. However, there is one description that is requisite for membership in this group: being like-minded. Being like-minded is reflected in the description below and is a requirement for membership:

• Have a desire to be self-reliant
• Hold truth important from whatever source found
• Have integrity regarding commitments and contracts
• Have respect for other people
• Understand and accept that choices have consequences

The above description defines choices and beliefs that unify those that are attracted to the OSR Initiative. However, each individual involved in OSR or any other group comes with his or her own personal set of values, core beliefs, knowledge, experience, and a myriad of other elements that are unique to that individual. 

I personally believe that this diversity brings about sustainability and a greater potential for self-reliance as individuals and as communities. What I have found and history teaches us is that when we as individuals or as a group think we have a corner on the market for all knowledge or all authority over another person or group of people, we set ourselves up for a serious and often painful learning moment. In addition, if we are offended because someone does not hold our beliefs to be their own, we lose a great opportunity to learn, because everyone has something important that can add value to our lives.

The OSR Initiative, of which the Academy of Self-Reliance, the Utah OSR Land Cooperative, OSR Green, LLC, and other initiative partners are dedicated to helping families transition to a homestead culture of self-reliance with like-minded neighbors. This initiative is non-denominational and non-political. However, most participants are Christian in their beliefs and many are conservative in their political persuasion. The desire to have a healthy, safe family environment is the mainstay of why individuals and families are drawn to OSR. 

Learning to counsel together enables us to learn from one another. Doing this in a safe environment is part of the OSR Initiative. This is not always easy,  because mistakes and errors will be made. How we choose to deal with these will define who we are. Who we are will determine what we do and how we do it. Preparing every needful thing is the new next frontier. If these are things that resonate with you, know that you are invited to participate.

God speed,
Philip J. Gleason


Do you have a gift, talent or experience with being self-reliant that you could share among us?

If so, we invite you to submit an article to be published in the Academy Newsletter. To help you submit your article, Coleen Gleason, one of our editors, will be happy to assist you. You can contact her or send your articles to her at Upon review and acceptance, you will be notified when your article will be published.

Thank you for sharing!

Here's what we've got going on!

Want to learn how to achieve greater self-reliance in our 250-family modern homesteading community? Then check out our Intro Meetings where we discuss what you can do, and where to start!

Would you like a personal tour of the site of a 250-family homestead community being built on the Utah OSR Land Co-op's 1,245-acre Riverbed Ranch in Juab County, Utah? Then join us for our Munch & Mingle Tour! We'll show you what we're doing now, and what we have planned for the future!

For more details and information about each of our events, click the button to visit our Events Page.


Save the Date for our very first tree planting event on
September 12th! 

There are several projects happening at the Riverbed Ranch involving planting trees and shrubs to begin regenerating the soil and providing forage for bees in areas around the Welcome Center, the 40 acre Special Projects Center (The Academy Campus, Rescue Home, Therapy Barn, etc.), and eventually the future Green Belt/Waterway. Initial planting projects will begin where water is already available to keep plants alive, and many plants and cuttings are already being gathered to get this started!

On September 12, 2020, we will be inviting OSR shareholders AND the interested public to come to the Riverbed Ranch for a 1-day mass tree/shrub planting event. The primary goal of this 1-day event is to plant 2,020 trees and shrubs in one day, and of course, the secondary goals include socializing and gathering public interest in regenerative agriculture and the mission of the Academy of Self-Reliance and Utah Land Co-Op!

Crowdfunding and Advertising campaigns are ongoing to gather funds and participants. There is additional help needed, of course!

Please contact Sarah Vezzani at if you are interested in helping out with the planning and/or execution of this event.


Have you heard? We're building a ropes course!

The Academy OSR Ropes Course will offer a unique series of team-building exercises that will have a variety of activities and programs that will challenge you, your friends, family, coworkers, and teammates to master challenges and conquer fears.

This state-of-the-art facility incorporates a continuous belay system that provides for maximum safety as participants learn and internalize concepts such as:

• problem-solving   • leadership skills   • communication   • self-confidence

. . . and so much more! We truly believe this will bless the lives of the young, and the not-so-young. 


GRANT UPDATE: We have completed the preliminary two steps necessary to qualify for committee consideration for a grant from the State of Utah for the Ropes Course. We finished the application and the final committee will meet May 6-7 to determine who will be awarded for this year.

Are you on social media? Then let's connect!

We'd love to have you join our Facebook Group, where we post about upcoming events and meetings where you and your friends can learn more about what we're doing! It's a great and easy way to help spread the word!


We are in the process of providing a discount for solar-energy equipment.  We have selected Sol-Ark as a supplier.

To increase our discounts, we are needing to combine our purchases.  We can get improved discounts if we place an order for 10 or more units.  And at 20 or more units, we receive an even larger discount.

If you are thinking of purchasing solar-energy equipment, whether for your new home, existing home, friend’s home, camping, etc…, please fill out our online questionnaire so that we can combine our orders and get big savings.

This is not a commitment to purchase at this time.  We are only getting a list of potential buyers. 

Have a great week! - The AOSR Team
Academy of Self-Reliance
719 W 1650 N, Orem, Utah 84057
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