The flagship project of the Institute is the Kansas Ranch and Range Management Internship Program.  This program aims to train the next generation of ranchers through hands-on experiences with mentors who have been nominated or recommended by their ranching peers.  These exemplary mentors work one-on-one with the interns to pass on those adaptive managerial skills required to create sustainable ranches well into the 21st century.  In this program, students are more than just a hired hand; they’re part of the management team.

KRI has placements available with ranch mentors whose areas of expertise include grazing systems, ecological monitoring, wildlife enhancement,  alternative forages, drought mitigation, ranch business modeling, prescribed burning, and water management, just to name a few.  Selected students will experience working with cow/calf, stocker or bison operations that range in size from a few hundred acres to over 40,000 acres.  In addition, interns will have the opportunity to learn the dynamics of various grasslands such as the Flint Hills, Gyp Hills, Osage Cuestas, and Smoky Hills of Kansas, the Nebraska Sand Hills, and the Loess region of northwest Missouri.

This internship program is designed to expand the formal classroom and foster lifelong learning.  In doing so, interns are expected to participate in several enrichment activities throughout the summer that compliment what is being learned on the ranch.  Range schools, grazing workshops, and business planning seminars are just a few of the professional development options made available at no cost to the interns.