We are a family cattle ranch focused on sustainable, local, and organic production principles. As we increase our use of management-intensive grazing and biological weed control (goats, sheep, chickens), the opportunity to increase personnel on the ranch arises. Our herding is done primarily horseback. We direct market as many products as possible and strongly encourage more people to enter agricultural fields. Our work is mostly outdoors and varies greatly throughout the year, making for an interesting and satisfying work experience.
Requirements: Positive attitude, interest in physical and mental labor, enjoyment of the outdoors and camping, willingness to learn and to participate in all aspects of ranch life and food production. Must be in relatively good physical condition and capable of walking several miles. No experience required.
Dates: Year round, primarily from April 15 – October 15
Commitment: Full-time for 3 months preferred. It takes about 6 wks. for interns to learn the ranch duties and country and then they really get to understand the projects for the second half of their stay.
Location: Lohof Beef Ranch, near Otter, MT, approximately 60 miles (35 of which are gravel) and 2 hours NE of Sheridan, WY. http://goo.gl/maps/urJ7B
Transportation: The ranch is accessible via any vehicle with good tires. We will pick up or drop off in Sheridan, WY. Transportation to or from Billings, MT, may be arrange for a fee. Generally, we travel to Sheridan, WY, weekly.
Accommodations: RUSTIC cabin + wholesome meals in our home provided. Access to our home kitchen + bath + telephone + internet cable (no cell service at our home). Pasture for 1 horse possible. Children and pets negotiable. Adjacent access to Custer National Forest. Private home available for season long guests. Please be prepared for silent and starry nights.
Attractions: Little Bighorn Battlefield, Kendrick Mansion, Big Horn Mountains, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, several National Forests and public lands for hiking and camping.
Duties may include:
- Moving/building fence
- Herding cattle, sheep, or goats through pasture rotations, primarily horseback if equine interested
- Milking goats
- Assisting with dryland haying and branding
- Packing minerals to livestock
- Checking livestock water and fence
- Building water lines and repairing springs
- Selling beef, burgers, and other products at the Sheridan Farmers’ Market
- Cooking for family meals, branding, and shipping
- Marketing and researching production ideas
- Designing profit sharing opportunities such as greenhouse production, mobile chicken unit, horse-drawn wagon rides, etc.
- Assisting with taking animals to slaughter and delivering meat
- Attending meetings, conferences, or field sessions on soil health, ranching, etc.
You have given me an experience that many can only dream of. I know I did for a long time. I learned so much from you guys – and I thank you for giving me this opportunity and treating me as one of your own. Thanks to everyone else who I met while I was there who made that time the incredible experience it was. Hope we’ll meet again! – 2013 Summer visitor
Rules & Criteria
We have hosted over 30 interns now and if you would like to speak to someone directly about his or her time with us, we can arrange that! We absolutely want this to be a positive experience for you and us. Here are a few things that we think make the internship work best.
No drugs, legal or illegal. Alcohol and marijuana are drugs. You may not use drugs while participating in ranching. We need people to be alert and observant while working and visiting our ranch. If you use anything which impairs your ability to drive, think, react, or be present, please do not plan to come to our ranch.
All farm vehicles are standard transmission. It would be beneficial to know how to drive a stick shift or practice before arrival.
You need to have a pretty good understanding of English or else be VERY perceptive. It is difficult for us to give directions for independent work if you are not familiar with the language. Please practice all you can beforehand.
Boyce House Intern Living:
Some of you may be away from home for the first time and sometimes roommates simply have different ideas of how to maintain a house. Here are some guidelines designed to keep us all on the same page for Boyce House living. While the Boyce Place is not quite the Ritz, we hope you will respect it as your temporary home and take care of it as best you can, leaving it better than you found it.
No smoking. Do not smoke in the house. Preferably, don’t smoke at all. Otter, MT, is like a bundle of kindling so if you must smoke, smoke outside and put your ashes and butts in a container with water, which you then empty in the garbage regularly.
Take out garbage weekly (Friday). Use bags (feed sacks, grocery bags, etc.) in containers and wipe garbage cans as needed.
Do your dishes every day. (If you want to set up rotating days and do each other dishes, fine. Otherwise, each person should do all of his/her dishes at least once per day. This includes putting them away and cleaning the counters.)
- Change Furnace filter on the 1st of every month. (Ask for help.)
- Keep your stuff in your room and avoid cluttering common areas.
- Clean bathrooms (scrub toilet, shower, sink, floor, mirror, change hand towels) weekly, hopefully in a schedule as agreed to by all.
- Keep all gates and doors closed, so no cattle get in the yard and no critters get in the house.
- Sweep / shovel walks and steps as needed.
- Ask! For supplies, things to be repaired, money to do improvements, etc. We want you to care and be comfortable so please share your ideas.
- Store food, cosmetics, etc. in mouse-proof cupboards or boxes.
- Keep up with your mouse traps! Set and empty them daily so you don’t get overrun.
When you leave:
- Please strive to leave the place better than you found it!
- Wash your sheets (or if you are in a hurry, just bring them to our house, and I will do it).
- Vacuum and sweep your room.
- Leave your room clean and free of garbage (no chew cups in the closet!).
- Clean up any projects or things you messed up.
- Wipe out refrigerator and throw out any perishable food of yours.
- Wipe out microwave. Even if other interns are still living there, this is your chance to improve the place for all!
- Vacuum and sweep the entire house.
- Sweep the garage and throw out garbage.
- Bring all garbage either to our house or Birney dump.
- Return borrowed items – books, tools, medicine, etc.
We suggest you educate yourself before and during your visit to maximize learning about ranching. We have lots of material here but if you want to get started ahead of time.
Suggested Reading + Viewing List
Buck Brannaman – videos on horsemanship
Temple Grandin – books and videos about animal behavior and handling
Jim Gerrish – books on low-input ranching
Joel Salatin – innovative multi-faceted farming
Stockman Grass Farmer – monthly newspaper
Gabe Brown – soil health
Burke Teichert – ranch management
Bill and Tom Dorrance – excellent horseman with books and videos
Books of the area / lifestyle
Claiming Ground, by Laura Bell
A Bride Goes West, by Nannie Alderson
Cheyenne and Cavalry history
Suggested Packing List
Good walking shoes / hiking boots
Long sleeve shirts – lightweight to keep sun off
Short sleeve shirts
Hat -Wide-Brimmed keep the back of your neck from burning such as shown here. You can also wear a ball cap.
Winter warm clothing November through March
Cowboy / riding boots (optional)
Day bag / backpack for lunch, waterbottle, extra jacket, etc.
Water bottle (s) – you will want to carry at least ½ gallon of water in the summer fencing, etc.
Laptop (optional) – we do not have cell service at the house. You can use our phone landline and we do have an ethernet cable hookup.
Any special foods you like / need
Unfortunately, we have had a WWOOFer turned back at customs and others questioned closely. Please read the following WWOOF information carefully:
“For this reason we provide all foreign nationals with information about how to speak about WWOOFing when traveling to the US. This is provided upon registration and is also available in our FAQs. Most WWOOFers come to the US using a holiday or tourist visa without any issues, as we consider them guests and visitors in a host’s home, not a worker or volunteer.
This is the language that is provided to all foreign nationals upon registration with our organization, and you are welcome to share it again with any international WWOOFers you invite to stay:
If you are traveling to the USA as a foreign national, please be aware that WWOOF-USA cannot help you obtain a visa. It may benefit you to secure your visa first, and then join WWOOF-USA. Most WWOOFers enter the USA using a tourist visa; however, it is your responsibility to determine the correct visa for your visit. Please keep in mind that WWOOF is NOT paid work or volunteering. WWOOFing is an educational experience, and WWOOF members are guests of their hosts. The United States has extremely strict labor and immigration laws that prohibit foreign nationals from “working” or “volunteering” in the country without a work visa. Most international WWOOFers communicate their intentions to visit the USA to immigration officials and enter without any problems. However, if you say that you are coming to “volunteer or work on a farm” and you don’t have a work visa, immigration probably WILL NOT LET YOU ENTER THE USA. Additionally, please note that when entering the USA, you cannot enter as a “WWOOFer,” as immigration officials may misunderstand the meaning of this. If you say you are “WWOOFing” when you enter the USA (especially from the Canadian border), you will most likely be turned away and not allowed to enter the country. Please take this into consideration and plan your visit to the USA accordingly. If you are traveling from another country, please be aware of this important distinction: as a WWOOFer, you are a TOURIST, NOT a WORKER or VOLUNTEER. Please understand the laws and clearly communicate your intentions when you enter the country. WWOOF-USA is not responsible for any problems you may experience with immigration.”
We also offer you the opportunity to “Ranch for a Day” and tag along while we work. To schedule a visit or submit a cover letter, resume, and references contact us at:
Patrick and Christy Lohof
LOHOF Grass-Finished MEATS
64 Boyce Rd.
Otter, MT 59062