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(some more) awesome western ranch apprenticeships

Posted: April 21 2017

photo credit - Dustin Blakey

The New Agrarian Program at Quivira Coalition has some more really great apprenticeship openings in California and Colorado.
All the details below:
Cobblestone Ranch
Eight-Month Ranching Apprenticeship in Chico, California
The Cobblestone Ranch is a sheep operation based on private property and on federal wildlife refuge lands managed specifically for wildlife habitat. Breanna Owens runs approximately two hundred ewes (with expansion plans over the next few years to increase to five hundred ewes). She uses a rotational grazing strategy on the refuge with the overall goal of maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat and specific goals of reducing thatch, shrub and weed control, and stimulating new herbaceous growth. She moves the sheep one to two times a week, in paddocks ranging from one to five acres depending on seasonality and management objectives. Owens sells lambs as grass-fed and -finished either as feeder lambs to a direct marketer or as finished lambs to a regional processor. She plans on transitioning a portion of the flock to organic and selling through a regional CSA.
Start Date: Flexible Start Date
To apply, read the full ranch and apprenticeship description at http://quiviracoalition.org/New_Agrarian_Program/Cobblestone_Ranch/index.html, and send a letter of interest and a resume to Bre Owens at breowens5 AT gmail.
The Apprenticeship
hedgerow installationOwens envisions an apprentice assisting with all aspects of the ranch operation. As with any livestock operation, the position will require physical labor interspersed with seasonal, office and other tasks. As the apprentice learns the regular ranch duties and becomes comfortable with them, they can choose some responsibilities to take on as a regular part of the job, with continued guidance as needed.
-Cobblestone ranch is fairly new with lots of potential for growth and possibilities for additional enterprises.
-Work and learning activities
-Visual monitoring of pasture condition to determine grazing moves, helping set-up and take down temporary electric fence, moving livestock, hauling water
-Checking sheep and cattle on regular basis, assisting with lambing, doctoring, processing of sheep and cattle (vaccinating, docking, branding, tagging, etc.)
-Ranch infrastructure maintenance, repair, and installations - help with fencing, water troughs and lines, corrals and outbuildings.
-Assist with care of guard dogs and stock dogs (possible training opportunities with stock dogs)
-Assist with bookkeeping and maintaining ranch records
-Assist with monitoring of soils, vegetation, and birds using Point Blue's Rangeland Monitoring Network protocols
-Assist with tree and shrub planting, seeding, installation of nest boxes and other conservation projects
-Ranch visits through Point Blue to other operations engaging in conservation work
-Attend rangeland/conservation related workshops, meetings, conferences (CRCC meetings/annual summit, SRM Cal-Pac, UCCE).
-Other ranch projects and ranch-related events as appropriate
The Mentor
Over the past fifteen years and continuing now, Owens has had the opportunity to learn about land and livestock management from numerous people in various locations. She wants to share what she has learned and provide an opportunity for others to learn along with her.
As Coordinator for the Rangeland Watershed Initiative Bre works at Point Blue Conservation with partner biologists who are assisting owners and operators of workinglands in implementing conservation practices designed to improve landscape function for the benefit of wildlife and ranch sustainability.
Brett Gray Ranch
Eight-Month Ranching Apprenticeship in Rush, Colorado
Round River Resource Management, LLC is a land resource and livestock management company dedicated to restoring and improving agricultural operations through the principles of Holistic ManagementTM in a sustainable manner and consistent with the goals of the resource owner.
The name Round River is derived from the metaphorical river described by Aldo Leopold that flows endlessly into itself, circling around and around in a never ending circuit that symbolizes the current of life. Leopold's illustration describes the manner in which energy streams from the soil into plants, then into animals and finally back into the soil in a continuous circuit of life.
Round River Resource Management was founded in 2008 to manage the Brett Gray Ranch and other agricultural enterprises following the principles of Holistic ManagementTM and to provide educational and business opportunities that help young, innovative people enter the ranching business.
Start Date: Flexible start date
To apply, read the full ranch and apprenticeship description at http://quiviracoalition.org/New_Agrarian_Program/Brett_Gray_Ranch/index.html and send a letter of interest and a resume to Louis Martin at louis AT roundriver.biz.
The Ranches
Round River Resource Management
The Brett Gray Ranch is a 50,000-acre ranch currently leased and managed by Round River from the Colorado State Land Board. In partnership with the State Land Board and The Nature Conservancy, Round River has a three-part goal to maintain a productive and sustainable ranching operation, encourage science and stewardship that maintains biodiversity and a sustainable prairie ecosystem. And to support education and community outreach to appreciate and support effective conservation of prairie ecosystems through responsible ranching.
The Lyme BX Ranch is a 25,000-acre ranch managed by Round River for Lyme Timber Company, a private conservation investment company. We collaborate with Lyme Timber, The Savory Institute and The Nature Conservancy in an attempt to improve the natural resource base and develop a replicable ranch management model centered on a holistic decision making approach.
Round River Resource Management was founded on the principles of conservation, based upon the writings of Aldo Leopold and the teachings of Allan Savory and Stan Parsons. By working upon the four fundamental ecosystem processes: mineral cycle, energy flow, water cycle and community dynamics, Round River strives to improve the resource base and bring ecological and economic sustainability to the ranching industry.
During the past seven years of operations at the Brett Gray Ranch, Round River has demonstrated its commitment to these principles by implementing a planned rotational grazing system that is designed to limit the duration of the grazing process and provide adequate recovery for the grazed plants. This grazing system helps to improve the four ecosystem processes by adding more organic matter to the soil, building a stronger root system, providing better water capture and infiltration, stronger, more vigorous plants that capture more energy from the sun, increases the biodiversity of the plant and animal community and helps to protect sensitive riparian areas from degradation and erosion.
These improvements have been achieved during some of the most severe drought conditions on record and have been documented through an intensive monitoring process conducted by Round River, the State Land Board and The Nature Conservancy.