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UW Extension, Partners Launch Summer Internship for Beginning Ranchers, Farmers

June 10, 2022
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University of Wyoming Extension, in partnership with local producers and UW’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has launched an internship program for beginning ranchers and farmers.

The GrowinG Internship 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, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Wool Growers Association and Wyoming Crop Improvement Association, as well as Wyoming FFA and 4-H.

So far, 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 are still being accepted for candidates interested in joining this summer’s program.

The interns work with the site hosts 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 such as branding, fencing and irrigating.

Taking part in at least one agricultural educational event, such as a UW Extension workshop or the Wyoming Stock Growers Association convention, within the time frame of the internship also is expected.

Throughout the 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,” says John Hewlett, project co-coordinator and ranching/farming specialist at UW.

“Weekly work summaries will help the intern reflect on day-to-day work and educational experiences throughout the duration of the 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 also are 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 adviser with the granting educational institution.

Online application forms for interns and hosts are available at www.GrowinG-WY.org. The project website also offers links to a collection of monthly articles and resources intended to help beginning farmers and ranchers meet the challenges of getting started in agriculture.

For more information, visit www.GrowinG-WY.org.

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