Fall Ranch Intern
Spikebox Ranch Fall Internship
Spikebox Ranch encompasses approximately 75,000 deeded acres in Cherry County, NE, located 50 miles southwest of Valentine, NE. The ranch ecosystem is Sandhills Mixed-Grass Prairie, characterized by grass-covered sandhills interspersed with wet meadows. The North Loup River flows through the ranch, providing excellent habitat for numerous animal species. Spikebox participates in conservation projects to include Blowout Penstemon establishment and wetland/wet meadow restoration.
The primary ranch operation is bison production (cow/calf and yearling) and grazing management of approximately 2,000 animal units. Bison grazing is managed using planned grazing of the uplands and wet meadows, with intensively managed grazing to achieve ecological goals and animal performance. Ranch staff utilize use low stress livestock handling techniques while interacting with the bison in pastures and corrals.
The breeding herd is kept in one herd and grazed year-round in a rotational manner with minimal supplementation. Each fall, the cows are preg-checked, vaccinated and dewormed.
Male and female calves are run together in one herd. At weaning calves are fed grass hay and protein cake for 2-4 weeks, and then turned out to grass and then strategically supplemented with cake. They are run as a single herd and rotated through pastures ranging from 15 to 2500 acres. Our yearlings are usually fenced with 2 string temporary electric fencing. They are handled on foot, with atv’s, horseback, and are accustomed to other vehicles and machinery.
All ranch hands are trained in low stress livestock handling techniques which are utilized each time animals are moved or handled.
The ranch headquarters is located 35 miles northwest of Mullen, NE or 75 miles southwest of Valentine, NE with 20 of those miles being single lane oil strip and gravel roads. Mullen, Nebr. offers K-12 schools with a school bus to the door.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
We are in search of someone who has a strong desire to learn how to ranch in a sustainable, ecological and economical manner as well as add their own strengths, talents and knowledge to our team. The primary responsibilities of an intern are:
• Assist others in the preparation of pastures (fences, water systems, forage inventory) ahead of the grazing rotation and ranch wide as needed.
• Perform range monitoring and grazing planning, as necessary.
• Maintain, repair, and install windmills, solar units, and stock tanks.
• Install and maintain permanent and temporary fencing.
• Use welder, plasma cutter, cutting torch, and other shop equipment safely
• Operate tractors, feeding and bale retrieval equipment during hay harvest and bison works, which requires some limited feeding.
• Use herbicides as appropriate and assigned for weed management
• Watch for fires during storms. Suppress wildfires or assist with prescribed fires as necessary.
• Vaccinate livestock using syringes and hypodermic needles or other means.
• Safely operate and maintain vehicles, tractors, and heavy equipment with various attachments.
• Safely operate ATV and UTV.
• Participate in Ranch Safety Program.
• Perform a variety of general ranch work duties.
• Cooperate on other Turner Ranches, especially McMurtrey Ranch, as needed to accomplish Company goals.
• Other duties as assigned by the Ranch Manager
COMPETENCIES AND CHARACTERISTICS
1. Range management / Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) management / Stockmanship
2. Openness to non-traditional agricultural practices (bison and managed grazing).
3. Office and computer skills sufficient to interpret and complete reports and spreadsheets
4. Initiative and Adaptability (able to develop and change work plans as needed)
5. Relationship and Team-building attitude
6. Humility and Ability to learn from others
7. Able to safely operate machinery of all types
Accommodations will be provided in a private house. Basic utilities will be provided by the Company including water, power, propane, local landline telephone and internet access.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, dig with various tools, or feel; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and talk or hear.
The employee must be able to ride ATV for extended periods of time on uneven rough terrain, and occasionally on roads and flat terrain while performing ranch duties.
The employee is frequently required to climb ladders and pipe corrals.
The employee is occasionally required to sit. The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 75 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 100 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move more than 100 pounds.
Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
Moving and handling bison in corral setting requires walking, running, and climbing pipe corrals for extended periods on uneven terrain. Opening and closing heavy pipe gates in a time sensitive manner while in the presence of bison and performing these duties alone.
For Questions or to apply call or email:
Spikebox Ranch Manager