Leading and learning

stormcow_editedThe rising age of our current farmers and ranchers, the steady increase in the world population, global warming and the continuous degradation of our natural resources is alarming. The average age of farmers in the USA is 58.3 years, and with less than a 1/2% of the US population involved in agriculture, it is urgent and critically important that we provide a new generation of young, innovative group of professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully operate an economically and ecologically sustainable agricultural industry.

To support sustainable agriculture, there must be opportunities for a new generation of producers to learn and grow, much like Aldo Leopold’s Round River and its continuous flow of life.  With high startup cost and the limited opportunities to learn these skills, Round River developed an intern/apprenticeship program designed to introduce and teach the skills necessary to operate a sustainable ranching operation and to provide opportunities to become engaged with sustainable agriculture.

Candidates who work with Round River will have the opportunity to learn and participate in all aspects of ranch operations and enterprise development, and will develop an appreciation for conservation and sustainable ranch management practices.

Hands on learning opportunities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Grazing planning and management
  • Rangeland monitoring
  • General maintenance of equipment and facilities
  • Livestock handling, and health management
  • Enterprise budgeting, planning and development
  • Animal nutrition and reproduction

Much takes place on a daily basis to refine skills and perform a variety of ranch and land improvement tasks including: daily livestock care (health monitoring, supplementation and pasture movements); building and maintaining ranch infrastructure and equipment (fences, water pipelines, buildings and vehicles); land and range monitoring, grazing planning and monitoring; low-stress stockmanship, and financial analysis and decision making. It is a physically, emotionally and intellectually challenging experience. Enthusiasm, a strong desire to learn and a sincere commitment to conservation, sustainable agriculture and food production are important.