UW Extension and partners launch summer internship for beginning ranchers and farmers
Laramie – This summer, the University of Wyoming (UW) Extension, in partnership with local producers and the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, launched the GrowinG Internship program for beginning ranchers and farmers.
The program is intended to help beginning farmers and ranchers gain meaningful experience in agriculture by providing hands-on internships at working farms and ranches. The GrowinG project operates in cooperation with state producer organizations and educational institutions.
Partners include the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Wool Growers and Wyoming Crop Improvement Association, as well as Wyoming FFA and 4-H programs. Currently, seven interns have been paired with agricultural businesses at various locations across the state.
Eligible applicants are individuals 18 years or older who identify as ready to begin farming or have been involved in farming or ranching for less than 10 years. Applications remain open for candidates interested in joining this summer’s program.
Accepted candidates work with the site host to establish start and end dates once a stipend has been awarded. Interns spend about 90 days on a host farm or ranch, learning from the manager and others while assisting with daily activities like branding, fencing and irrigating.
Taking part in at least one agricultural educational event, such as a Wyoming Extension workshop or WSGA convention, within the timeframe of the internship is also expected.
Throughout their internship, participants are required to document their learning experiences.
“Work summaries are required weekly and are rolling in fast, now that the internships have begun,” notes John Hewlett, project co-coordinator and ranching and farming specialist at UW.
“Weekly work summaries will help the intern reflect on day-to-day work and educational experiences throughout the duration of internship,” says Ben Rashford, head of the UW Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and one of the project coordinators. “Summaries will be posted to the project site to help others understand the benefits of participation.”
Recent posts include a report on holistic resource management and a reflection on what it means to run an agricultural operation in “The Machine Age.”
GrowinG interns who are also degree-seeking students are encouraged to seek academic credit for participating in the GrowinG Internship Program. Academic credit must be arranged in advance between the student and an academic advisor with the granting educational institution.
Online application forms for interns and hosts are available at growing-wy.org. The project website also offers links to a collection of monthly articles and resources intended to assist beginning farmers and ranchers to meet the challenges of getting started in agriculture.
About UW Extension
Since 1914, the UW Extension has provided lifelong learning opportunities to Wyoming citizens across the state. With roots in agricultural education, the UW Extension supports rural communities facing contemporary challenges and changes.
The UW Extension brings the university’s resources to each of the state’s 23 counties and the Wind River Indian Reservation. To learn more about the UW Extension, visit uwyo.edu/uwe or call 307-766-5124.
For more information on the GrowinG Internship, visit growing-wy.org or contact the GrowinG Internship Program at information@GrowinG-WY.
This article is courtesy of University of Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics Farm and Ranch Management Specialist John Hewlett. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.