Interns

2014

colin-chalkColin Chalk – Washington, MO

This internship gave me everything I was looking for and more.  I got a lot of hands-on experience working with bison, high-tensile fencing, and even developing wildlife habitat and food plots.  I enjoyed getting to go to work and do something new each and every day.  My mentors were excellent and more than willing to teach and show me what it takes to manage and keep a ranch running.  The Range School was very advantageous as an enrichment activity to the internship.

morgan-shorterMorgan Shorter – Junction City, KS

My internship this summer was one of the best experiences in ranching I’ve ever had. It took a lot to keep up with my wonderful mentor. He taught me about grass management and livestock care, but most importantly, he taught me about running a business. I got to meet a lot of people who I was able to learn from. For me, the best part of the internship was the enrichment activities and getting to be involved in niche marketing.


2013

rachelRachel Klein – Ft. Collins, CO

Over the course of the internship I learned a lot of valuable things.  When I first started at the Z Bar I was more hesitant about being able to do things on the ranch on my own, but as Keith and everyone taught me more I became more confident in my abilities.  Keith was very easy to work with and was always willing to answer questions when I had them.  He did a good job of pushing me to try new things and widened my experiences at the ranch.  Overall, I enjoyed the people that I worked with and the variety of experiences was great.  I also really enjoyed both enrichment activities that I attended and learned some valuable information at both.  My favorite was the grazing school in Scott City.  I had a wonderful summer and I learned so much that I wasn’t expecting to.  Looking back, I would have done the internship even as a non-paid summer just for the experience.

williamWilliam Poland – Ellis, KS


2012

Austin-JensenAustin Jensen – Minneapolis, KS

My summer internship job was located on a large ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. I learned to identify many of the native grasses on the ranch and that not all of the “weeds” are bad. I now have a better understanding of rotational grazing, when and why to move cattle to new pastures, and how to move the animals in a quiet and calm manner. After attending the enrichment activities, Tallgrass Adult Grazing School and Jim Garrish Workshop, I was able to bridge the practical ranch activities with the theoretical science. I really appreciate having had the opportunity to work on a well respected ranch and to work for a mentor that has more than enough experience to help anybody succeed in the ranching industry. Because of this internship experience I will be better prepared to capitalize on the rest of my college career.

Chad-VanderlindenChad Vanderlinden – Muscatine, IA

I worked as an intern on a large buffalo ranch in the Gypsum Hills of Kansas.  I honestly enjoyed the variety of projects we worked on throughout the summer, installing solar pumps, moving the buffalo from pasture to pasture, learning to identify the different grass species on the ranch, even operating the tree saw.  My talks with my mentor were also a highlight.  He didn’t just have an answer for every problem but he had the right answer to get the job done.  While traveling in the gator from project to project we discussed his ranch experiences, successes as well as misfortunes.  Overall he was a great boss and I would work for him any day.  I also know that I can count on him as a friend and mentor in the future.  I can certainly recommend this internship experience to anyone with a solid work ethic, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn.  I had a great experience and wouldn’t have wanted any other summer job.


2011

travis panek

Travis Panek – Cunningham, KS  

The Ranch and Range Management Internship was truly the opportunity of a life time.   I learned a vast amount of valuable information that will help me for the rest of my life, not only while working on the ranch, but also at the enrichment activities.  I also made many valuable contacts, which may be very important in the future.  I had a chance to work a 7,000 acre ranch, rotating 3 bunches of cattle around through numerous paddocks, moving cattle every few days.    All aspects of management were the focus of the internship including the grass, cattle, and overall long term management of the ranch and how to keep it profitable.   Being in the extreme drought that the ranch was going through provided a tremendous learning experience in itself, and it was easy to see how beneficial the many years of good management have been for the ranch.

 mattwesterhausMatthew Westerhaus – Pratt, KS

Z-Bar Ranch Summer 2011 – Throughout this summer I have encountered many new experiences, the most obvious of these was spending time working close with the buffalo. Some other experiences include working with large machinery, managing wild life and general ranch work.
On the ranch I worked closely with my foreman Trent. Monday through Thursday Trent and I met at 7:30 am at the shop. From here we left to spend our day working on projects throughout the ranch. We started with a very large, and at times, a very overwhelming project to clear cut roughly 10 acres of trees that had grown into a fence dividing the Z-Bar from the neighbor’s property. We clear cut this location along and around the fence line, moved and piled brush and demonstrated proper controlled burning practices to remove the brush. Following the tree removal process, my coworkers and I then used tractors and dirt scrapers to build a dike along a flood plain of Mule Creek. The dirt moving process took three weeks to build a dike seven feet tall. This dike was build along the line where the new fence was to be built. After the dirt construction we then inserted a series of three large culverts to allow water flow under the dike. Concrete blocks were then placed at the head of the dike at the water gap. The final step was to unroll hay bales atop the expanse of the dike to prevent wind erosion.  This project was by far the largest and most extensive project I participated in during the summer.
Another duty I performed was moving about 70 head of buffalo bulls seven miles south to the working pins. This job was completed by a cake truck and ATV’s. The cake truck lead the heard and the ATV’s followed along the rear to keep the line moving. Upon arrival at the working pins, the bulls were then placed, one by one, into the squeeze shoot, processed into the computer by EID (electronic Identification), and blood was drawn by a Federal Vet in search of TB.
Other projects that took place were some water distribution projects that included placement of water lines and electrical lines. Supplementing protein with cake was a duty I performed every other workday.  Occasionally I was on the road headed to fires that flashed up throughout the prairie. This was by far the most stressful job I performed this summer.
What I enjoyed the most this summer was moving the bulls, which can tip the scales at well over 1200 pounds. This job was stressful as well. Not everything was enjoyable though. Clearing all those trees was quite a task and it was very hot all summer. The next best thing to moving the bulls that I enjoyed was managing the wild life. The Z-Bar contains over 20 deer feeders that need to be filled about every three weeks. This was a job that Keith, my boss, trusted me to perform by myself. I filled eight feeders scattered throughout the ranch with little knowledge about where the feeders were. Luke, Keith’s son, helped to give me some vague directions to each feeder. I did find all the feeders assigned and successfully filled them. As well as the deer, the Z-bar staff also introduces pheasants constantly and build habitat within the food plots that are planted. During quail season ted turner will visit the ranch in search of this upland game bird. Before my summer ended I set out four quail guzzlers that were to be buried in designated locations. Guzzlers are buried water tanks with a sloped bottom and one open side that faces north with a slanted roof and gutter system designed to catch rain water for consumption by the quail.
Throughout the summer I learned many new skills such as rebuilding the high tensile electric fence, building overhead gates throughout the ranch and plumbing water lines. I also sharpened many skills I had already acquired from previous jobs. This internship also helped me to sharpen my communication skills and also taught me punctuality skills among many other life skills. I am happy that I was able to spend this summer working for Ted Turner on one of his famous buffalo ranches.

 Tiemeyer

 Alec Tiemeyer – Morrowville, KS

I am currently attending Cloud County Community College and plan to transfer to K-State next fall.  I interned last summer for the Tippetts-Myers Ranch located north of Lewellen Nebraska.  I learned a lot about different types of rotational grazing and range management systems.  I also was exposed to many different types of working cattle and doctoring in the pasture. I plan to use these new ideas in the future with my own operation.  Everyday work on the ranch involved, checking pairs, doctoring calves and cows, moving pairs to new pasture, fixing fence, working on windmills/tanks, and working around the shop.  I really enjoyed my time on this internship and would definitely recommend it to other students.