WYOMING – The University of Wyoming Extension is launching a new internship program this summer for beginning ranchers and farmers.
The GrowinG program, done in conjunction with the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is intended to help beginning farmers and ranchers gain significant experience in agriculture by providing hands-on internships at working farms and ranches. The project operates in cooperation with state producer organizations and educational institutions.
As of last week, seven interns have been paired with agricultural businesses at various locations across the state, including one in Sublette County.
Additional program partners include Wyoming Stock Grower’s Association, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Wool Growers and Wyoming Crop Improvement Association, as well as local FFA and 4-H programs.
Eligible applicants are 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 throughout the summer. Accepted candidates work with the site host to establish start and end dates once a stipend has been awarded. Interns spend nearly 90 days on a host farm or ranch, learning while assisting with daily activities like branding, fencing and irrigating.
Applicants are expected to take part in at least one agricultural education event, such as a Wyoming Extension workshop or Stock Grower’s Convention. Participants are also required to document their learning experiences throughout the internship.
“Weekly work summaries will help the intern reflect on day-to-day work and educational experiences throughout the duration of internship,” Ben Rashford, head of the UW Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and one of the project coordinators, said. “Summaries will be posted to the project site to help others understand the benefits of participation.”
GrowinG interns who are also degree-seeking students are encouraged to seek academic credit for participating. Academic credits must be arranged in advance between the student and academic advisor.
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 meet the challenges of getting started in agriculture.