Last night during the Utah OSR Land Cooperative Board meeting I had the privilege of sitting in council with five other men, whom I have grown to respect and love. The agenda item was “what rules or regulations should or should not be imposed upon the land cooperative membership.” All were in agreement that another HOA was not what was wanted. Yet, there were concerns about properties becoming junkyards and other unsafe conditions. Pictures were produced of a yard many miles down the road in such a condition. For the next hour and a half, I was taught and edified by the men who sit on the Utah OSR Land Cooperative Board.

Throughout the discussion, I was reminded by other’s comments on the importance of the freedoms that we just celebrated on the fourth. Also, I was reminded that the land cooperative is an agricultural coop and not a pristine city park. But, more importantly, I was reminded of the heart and mind of those that are drawn to the OSR project. 

Every family currently involved and those that are getting their affairs in order to participate, not only have a desire to be self-reliant but also love freedom and this great land in which we live. I was also reminded that freedom-loving, self-reliant, people want to be good neighbors. Because without good neighbors, safety cannot exist. With that in mind, the board continued to discuss the challenges and concerns that not only the board has but concerns that many of the members have vocalized, such as junk and trash scattered on a parcel, improper sanitation disposal, and in disrepair in general. The challenge was how to address those concerns because they are real and affect the health, safety, and welfare of everyone. 

It was brought to everyone’s attention that there is already a canon of law with rules and regulations that have been in the making for over 124 years just here in the State of Utah. These laws, statutes, and ordinances exist and in some cases are burdensome, yet they do have the welfare of the individual and the community as a whole in mind. So, why should we add to these creating even more burdens upon ourselves and our neighbors? It was determined that there was no reason enough to do so. Yet, we all wanted or had a reasonable expectation for a beautiful community.

How to bring that about was the next topic discussed in detail, and this is where the true heart of this board was manifest. There were basically three strategies that were voted on and adopted:

First, we would become familiar with the existing laws, rules, and regulations that affect the health, safety, and welfare of us as individuals and as a community and make that information available to everyone. This would include the needed education and awareness, so all would have an understanding of what is required. 

Second, we would make available a clear description of what a beautiful community, such as ours, should look like and we would post that description in multiple places, keeping it front and center for all to reflect upon.

Third, we would hold multiple community clean up days. On these cleanup days, the community would come together and clean and beautify our common areas and offer our help to those that are unable to organize and beautify their homesteads.

This would all be done by example, invitation, and offerings of help where needed and wanted. It was expressed that coercion with rule upon rule was not the type of environment that we wanted. Example, invitation, and service was the method of choice. I am very pleased to be associated with such an amazing group of men and women who are part of the OSR Initiative. This is truly the next new frontier.

God speed,
Philip J. Gleason


We'll see you next month!

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.


Join us this June for our very first tree planting event!
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!
In mid-June, 2020, we will be inviting OSR shareholders AND the interested public to come to the Riverbed Ranch for a 1-day mass tree 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 launching soon to gather funds and participants. There is additional help needed, of course! Below is one specific role we are looking to fill, but of course this 1-day event will only be accomplished with many helping hands.

Please contact Sarah Vezzani at if you are interested in filling the below role or would like to help in other ways.

Responsibilities include planning and coordinating the people-related logistics of the day: checking participants in, distributing water bottles and T-shirts, directing families to different stations (rest areas with snacks, bathrooms, baby changing/feeding area), ensuring everyone has necessary equipment (and training if needed!) to help out, organizing activities for younger children, and entertainment (can simply be music playing - we have a volunteer for supplying the sound system)


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 840057
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