Internships are a valuable part of our program, providing hands-on and unparalleled opportunities for our students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-world experiences. Below you'll find a few internship highlights in the students' own words, expressing their gratitude for the knowledge gained while working on host ranches over the summer. To learn how you can host an intern, click here.

Sarah Baker, Class of 2025
Padlock Ranch: Ranchester, WY

a young woman tacking a horse

My summer spent at the Padlock Ranch in Ranchester, Wyoming was a great experience that opened my eyes to the complexity of a large ranch and the role of a ranch manager. This summer I was immersed in diverse teams with varying personalities, learning types, and beliefs. My daily duties included riding pens, moving and doctoring yearling replacement heifers, and yard maintenance. In the early summer months, we also built fence and helped at brandings across different units. The employees at the Padlock were always willing to teach or lend a hand whenever I was in need. Not only was the environment positive, but it was also an excellent opportunity to learn. I felt comfortable asking questions and most importantly, it was an environment that allowed me to fail and learn from my mistakes without harsh judgment. I’m excited to go back next summer and further my education and utilize the college courses that I have taken thus far. 

Carlo Giovannitti, Class of 2025
Wickens Salt Creek Ranch:  Winifred, MT

A man roping cattle from horseback

This past summer, I completed my first segment of my two-summer internship working on Wickens Salt Creek Ranch.  The Wickens own a thousand head feedyard and a direct-to-consumer beef business.  My first task every morning was to feed the animals their rations, using software that connected through wi-fi to a scale that would weigh the rations. Another big portion of the summer was spent haying. What really surprised me this summer wasn’t necessarily learning hard skills, but rather the importance of soft skills and communication.  Eric was a great mentor and would go out of his way to explain something that he knew I might know or understand. Not coming from a ranching background, the internship has helped me grow and be more valuable to an operation through experience and understanding.  I am a true believer in that fact that you can never stop learning and I am grateful for the opportunity to spend another summer at Wickens Salt Creek Ranch.

McLain Payne, Class of 2025
Matador Cattle Company:  Dillon, MT

a man on horseback

I spent last summer at the Matador Ranch outside of Dillon. Growing up on my family’s ranch I thought I had an idea of how a ranch should be managed. Getting a hands-on experience at another ranch gives you a different outlook from what you thought you knew about ranching and will allow you to think about what you appreciate about their techniques and strategies in ranching and appreciate how you grew up doing it. The internship experience is by far the most valuable part of this degree. You can only learn so much in the classroom, and I personally learn much better doing the hands-on work. I was tasked with managing the grazing of a large group of yearling heifers under pivots on a cover crop consisting of radishes, turnips, barley and wheat. Coming into that first summer I couldn’t think of enough questions to ask. I learned so much about how to look at things from a manager’s perspective. Through the internship I have not only gained the skills of a manager but created a network of people who I can reach out to for advice in this rapidly evolving industry.

Peter Sclafani, Class of 2025
Flying D Ranch: Bozeman, MT

A man standing in front of a herd of bison

I really enjoyed my internship this past summer on the Flying D Ranch, a working bison ranch owned by Turner Enterprises, outside Bozeman, Montana.

My main role last summer was assisting managed intensive grazing (MIG) of bison heifers. My responsibilities entailed checking the bison herd daily as well as the grass height and condition of the cell (small pasture) they were grazing to ensure they were not taking too much forage. Working with bison was a new and interesting experience for me since I had only worked with cattle previously. What I learned about bison during this internship with the Flying D Ranch has opened new interests and opportunities for me to pursue a career working in the bison industry.

Greg Collins, Class of 2024

A man in baseball cap with mustache holding a horse on a rein

Spending my first summer on the LF Ranch outside of Augusta, MT, was an intense learning experience. I worked under the cow boss, and got first-hand experience in dealing with severe drought, predation, practicing low-stress livestock handling, and the art of good grazing management.

In my opinion, the internship is the most important part of DSRMP. With a willing ranch and driven intern, it benefits both parties. The intern gathers valuable work experience and is given the opportunity to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. Click here to read more about Greg's first-year experience. 

Cayden Rose, Class of 2023
Hamilton Ranch: Twin Bridges, Montana

A young cowboy in a pasture with cattle

Over the past two summers I have learned more about a systems approach to managing a ranch than I ever would have in the classroom. There is something about seeing it done and participating in it that teaches you so much faster than a classroom or a lecture does.

This internship I have been a part of for the last two summers is one of the most valuable things I’ve done for my education. I learned about the cattle operation here on the ranch and how to better move, observe and help the cattle utilize the land.

Not only that, I have learned how to look at financials and analyze them to better maximize a ranch's economic potential, different ways to market the ranch's assets to find that niche market, and dozens of other things. Most importantly though, this internship has shown me again and again what it looks like to be a good leader to the people that work for you. Click here to read about Cayden's first-year internship experience.

Georgia Wortman, Class of 2023
Sevens Ranch: Choteau, Montana

A young woman in hat

I spent the last two summers working for someone else while my family persisted in the face of drought on our operation. It was not a small sacrifice to be gone when they needed me at home, but the different perspectives and the connections I made will last beyond the struggles of the past two summers.

This spring, I will be a part of the second graduating class of the Dan Scott Ranch Management Program. To me, this program was not entirely about getting a college education. I have met so many producers, managers, and other experts in our field that I have had the opportunity to get to know and visit with on multiple occasions. Not only are they people that I can ask questions, but they are people that I can share my progress with as a young adult in the ranching industry, successes and failures. I am so excited for the future of this program, and beyond honored that I could be a part of its beginning years. Click here to read about Georgia's first-year internship experience.