learn to farm.
Be a Residential Ranch Hand
Our Residential Ranch Hand positions are open to individuals of 18 years and above, and so far we have hosted Ranch Hands ranging from 18-65 years of age. Residential Ranch Hands work 18 hours per week in exchange for fully furnished living quarters: a small private bedroom with shared living room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry facilities, and Internet access.
As a Residential Ranch Hand you will learn as many farming and ranching skills as we can teach you— caring for all of the animals in their habitats; planning, planting and harvesting produce in our gardens, hoop house and green house; helping with our CSA programs; learning to use many types of small equipment; groundskeeping; tree planting; making firewood and wood chips; building & systems maintenance and repair; helping with Wellesley House operations; and more.
We require a minimum commitment of six months, with a preference for persons who can commit to staying through the end of the next August or September. This helps us take the farm through this climate’s primary growing season. However, we welcome Residential Ranch Hands throughout the calendar, and the majority have stayed with us between 8-24 months. Ranch Hands are often involved in other endeavors while living and working part time with us. Here are some examples: Undergraduate or graduate students in all fields of study; students finishing master's theses; students going to school to become nutritionists; students attending UNR specifically for degrees in agriculture or other degrees through CABNR; meditation/spiritual students; professionals working at full time jobs in Carson City and Reno; and individuals working part time jobs in Carson City, Reno and surrounding areas.
Under certain circumstances we encourage Ranch Hands to specialize in areas of great interest to them. When a Ranch Hand has been with us for a number of months and shows him or herself to be dependable and responsible, with a strong work ethic, we love to mentor them in taking over tasks that foster greater vision, responsibility, and management skills. For example, some Ranch Hands have taken over management of our CSA program. Some longer-term Ranch Hands have become interested in Ranch Hand management—coordinating Ranch Hand work schedules, managing projects, and/ or teaching skills to new Ranch Hands. Some Ranch Hands have wanted to become extra involved with flood irrigation, pasture management, or harvesting the grass hay. We can design Intern positions specializing in hospitality management via working closely with the historic Wellesley House group rental—thereby facilitating earned practicum and/or academic credit hours for hotel and/or resort management college degree programs; and we are open to designing positions that specialize in maintenance and repair projects that improve our buildings, fencing, underground irrigation systems, etc.. We have even seen some Ranch Hands demonstrate the required readiness for learning to operate our heavy equipment.
We love what we do here, and we love helping others learn how!
How to Apply
To apply for our Residential Ranch Hand Program, email us an introduction, any questions, and your regular mailing address. We will mail you the application paperwork the old-fashioned way, and you can return it by mail, fax, or scan and email. Our Ranch Hand application includes a residential application with background check, job history, personal and professional references, skills questionnaire, and then a personal interview either by phone or here at the farm.