SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald
Thirty hens clucked at his feet, and they watched with interest as he slowly gathered their eggs from the coop.
Later in the evening, 25-year-old Trent Bonds would carefully clean the eggs before sending them, eight dozen at a time, to Season’s Rotisserie & Grill in downtown Durango to be prepared in elegant meals for diners.
Bonds has Down syndrome, but it’s never dampened his independent spirit, said his mother, Lorene Bonds. And his eggs, for which community demand has grown faster than his ability to acquire new hens, are giving Trent Bonds a new lease on life and a future in business.
“It’s allowed him to have a job that doesn’t require transportation and lets him be outside with the animals where he’s happiest,” Lorene Bonds said.
This week, Trent Bonds proudly showed off the latest additions to his entrepreneurial endeavor, “Eggs by Trent.” The small chicks covered in feathery fluff will be full-grown, egg-producing hens by fall, he said.
It’s a start toward his dream of someday owning his own ranch. The thought of local families specifically requesting to buy his new egg stock this October prompted him to give his mother an excited high-five. He said he would love to see his eggs in local supermarkets. He also wants to breed and raise “work” horses and longhorn cattle.
Basically, he wants a life that would allow him to continue spending his days on horseback, taking in the earthy air of a working ranch with the sun shining high overhead.
It’s the only life Bonds has ever known and one he couldn’t envision parting from. (Unless the New England Patriots suddenly invited him aboard, that is.)
Bonds said he’s glad to live in a community that supports agricultural cooperatives and businesses like his. Lorene Bonds added that LOCAL Brands FARM Co-op’s helps to market his products and guides the management of his growing business, and Trent’s dreams have become more achievable.
More importantly, she said “it gives him purpose, and he’s accomplishing something on his own.”
“He’s proud of that,” she said.