Roberts Ranch Internship – Grazing Plan, Implementation, Livestock Management

Front Range Region



Primary Topic:

Food and Agriculture

Other Topics:

Food and Agriculture, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Lead Mentor:  

Zach Shallcross Thode


Internship Overview:

This internship will consist of helping to evaluate range conditions previous to grazing, help with developing a adaptive grazing plan, implement the adaptive grazing plan by setting up paddocks for cows to graze for 2 weeks with poly wire fencing. Then later going back to evaluate the impact to the range of the grazing disruption.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

Goals: This internship will:
1. Train an intern to develop, implement and monitor a grazing plan for summer and fall managed grazing on ~12,500 acres of the Roberts Ranch in Livermore CO.
2. Provide side by side hands on experiences including:
a. Develop Range monitoring including plant/animal species identification skills
b. Develop low stress stockmanship livestock handling and moving skills
c. Develop hands on skills for managing temporary fences and livestock water inventories

Scope: The work will include:
1. Early season planning in May for where, how, and how many cows will be grazed throughout the summer. Work to be completed alongside professionals, and Extension.
2. During the grazing season the work will include ~20 hours per week of moving temporary fences, checking livestock water.
3. Throughout the summer weekly monitoring of range health including identifying indicator plant/animal species.

Objectives: This internship will provide hands on training for how to develop:
1. Successful grazing plans, best methods for implementing these plans,
2. low stress cattle handling techniques
3. responsive range monitoring including plant/wildlife species identification.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

CSU Larimer County Extension for bi-weekly updates and some assistance in plant identification; Faculty with the College of Animal Sciences for 2 onsite visits and occasional bi-weekly meetings to ensure experiential learning; the Roberts Ranch Manager for weekly updates and some tours; and professional range stewards for side by side experiential learning

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

The intern will learn how to make a grazing plan based upon local observable inputs including: past monitoring reports, field inventory, and climatic annual variables. The intern will gain a basic skills for managing temporary fences, plant identification, and low stress stockmanship. The intern will learn how to monitor and report on the impacts of grazing on the rangeland. The intern will attend up to 4 ranch tours to better understand the economics, ecology, history, archeology, and anthropology on the Roberts Ranch.
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