Cutthroat trout survey

Hands-on experience is of critical importance for preparing future ranch workers and managers. Through a developing Apprenticeship Program, the Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship Program is offering students the opportunity to learn necessary ranching skills through paid positions with partner ranches and stakeholders. These opportunities will provide students with experience in a wide range of ranching skills. Through apprenticeships, students will interact daily with ranch workers, managers and owners allowing them to develop professional skillsets, networking opportunities, and ensure that ranching is a good fit for their personal and career goals. Without this immersion, it can be difficult for students to get the experience needed to secure and succeed at a ranching job. Apprenticeship opportunities are currently offered through the CSU Extension Internship program.

Summer 2021 Opportunities

Internship opportunities for the summer of 2021 have been announced! The CSU Extension internship program offers 10 week internships across Colorado and a $4,000 stipend. The program offers hands-on learning at the county/local level in addition to research and outreach. The Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship program is proud to be mentoring an internship in Grand County. Visit to view internship opportunities and apply. Applications are due by February 5, 2021.

There may be additional opportunities for summer 2021. Check back here for announcements in the coming months

Inspecting Tree sapling

Summer 2020 Opportunities

The Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship Program partnered with Robin Young, the director of the CSU Extension office in Archuleta County and the Natural Resources and Agriculture agent for the region, on two paid apprenticeship opportunities during the summer of 2020 through the CSU Extension Internship Program and partner ranches. Each apprentice was involved in the day-to-day operations of the host ranch, while also being required to design and implement an applied research study. One apprentice received hands-on training for routine activities that included operating and caring for equipment, maintaining ranch infrastructure, planning of forest management strategies, and assisting in rearing of an endangered trout species. The apprentice researched aspen regeneration following a prescribed timber sale and the impacts on elk populations. The second apprenticeship involved assisting a new family business that uses goats to control invasive species and reduce fuel loads through selective grazing. The apprentice learned to apply concepts in business planning (i.e. market research, creating budgets, and networking), livestock management (i.e. goat herding and care), and land stewardship (i.e. native and non-native plant identification, inventory and management). The apprentice tested the viability of seeds following ruminant digestion. Their experience is highlighted in a short video produced by CSU Extension.