Internship-Teaching the Next Generation

Photo courtesy of Lisa Nelson

Years ago the only way to learn was through apprenticeship. The older masters of the trade would be shadowed by the lesser skilled to build upon their knowledge. This was a way of passing on skills to the next generation of workers. Today, it is still a useful tool in preparing future ranchers. Apprenticeship and Internship programs develop the skills of the apprentice while the mentor fills their need for good-quality labor.

The Sandhills Task Force knows the importance of internships and although the Sandhills Task Force does not offer any internship programs itself, we wanted to develop a way for ranchers and students to connect.  This page will offer contact information for ranches and interns, as well as general expectations for each.  It is up to ranch managers and interns to discuss expectations and their needs to make sure they are a good fit for each other.


Mentor Ranch Expectations

Photo courtesy of Shelly Kelly

The mentoring ranch will provide instruction, hands-on skill development, and labor in support of the daily operation of a ranch or farm. Time duration, monthly stipend amount, housing, food, etc., is at the discretion of the ranch.  This is a good way to teach biodiversity, regenerative ranching practices, and other important skills to those who will take our place one day.  It is up to the Ranch manager or owner to thoroughly interview candidates to be sure they are a right fit for their program.



The ranch is expected to:

  • Educate on good conservation practices, land management, along with a culture of handling practices that are safe for animals and people.
  • Have the desire to teach their skills to others
  • Have the time and means to provide a quality education
  • Be a full-time rancher
  • To financially be able to pay your apprentice, along with providing safe quality housing


Intern Expectations

Photo courtesy of Shelly Kelly

Internship is a great way to receive hands-on learning and explore possible career opportunities.  You will also develop skills such as leadership, communication, and improved self-confidence.  These skills generally lead to journey worker status.  Some of the duties you may experience, depending on the operation you will work with, include Animal nutrition, plant identification, cattle handling, pasture rotation, meadow haying, fencing, calving, horsemanship, stockmanship, and general ranch operations.

The intern is expected to:

  • Spend several hours a day in a work/learn environment
  • Willing to work a full-time schedule
  • Be dependable and on time
  • Not afraid of hard work, long days, in various weather conditions
  • Have initiative and a strong desire to be a part of the ranching lifestyle
  • Willing to follow directions and work with a team or independently 

Remember this will be a great opportunity to learn, so what you put into it, will be what you get out of it.  If you are interested in one of the listed ranches, please reach out to them and discuss what they have to offer.  If you would like to add your contact info to our page, feel free to contact us with the information.


Helpful Resources

Mentor Handbook- Quivira

General Application

Liability Waiver



Ranchers, if this is something that interests you and would like to add your name to the list of possible internship programs, please contact us!  

      Participating Ranches                              Interns 








Lisa Nelson- Administrative Assistant