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DD Ranch is one of many host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program.
The RFC Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential program combining hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As an intern, you will live and train full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities. You can learn more about Rogue Farm Corps internship program at https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/internship.
DD Ranch is a 200 acre cattle ranch approximately 2 miles from Smith Rock State Park. It is a very scenic property with views of Smith Rock and the Cascade mountains. 155 of the 200 acres are irrigated with a mixture of hand lines, wheel lines and flood irrigation. We also operate another 200-300 acres for grazing cattle and/or growing hay. We have rocky outcroppings with Juniper groves as well and a wildlife corridor. We are approximately 3 miles from the town of Terrebonne, 6 miles from Redmond, 25 miles to Bend, 25 miles to Madras and 20 miles to Prineville. Smith Rock State Park offers climbing, hiking, running, horseback riding, camping, etc. Living at the ranch currently, we have the previous owner, Mike Duggan, current owners, Linda and Jeff Anspach and their 4 kids. We are primarily a grass fed beef operation (also offering grass fed lamb, heritage pork, eggs, raw honey and pumpkins). We also grow hay. We have bees on the property but they are cared for by someone else. We offer a significant amount of agritourism, including weddings, birthdays, month long pumpkin patch. We sell our products via farmers markets, here at the ranch, through our CSA and through wholesalers. We utilize a backhoe, older Massey Ferguson tractor and newer Kubota tractor for various things – such as loading bales for feeding, getting bales off of the ground, running haying equipment, etc. Other equipment: baler, stock trailers, manure spreaders, swather, rake, 4 wheelers, etc. Our pumpkin patch is covered in weed barrier which is rolled out and set up by hand and the weeding is done by hand, weed eater, etc. No sprays are used on weeds.
We have 4 children, 18, 15, 11 and 9 whom are involved at various levels with ranch work. The three older ones have significant sports commitments. Jeff and Linda both run and have backgrounds in swimming and cycling as well. We love to travel and have travelled extensively in the past. Linda had a dream of ranching after getting very involved with the Weston A Price foundation and had a goal of growing the kind of food we wanted to eat as well as provide it to our local community. We both speak Spanish, though not fluently. Jeff loves riding motorcycles and Linda loves riding horses. The ranch has been in operation with the same things that are currently offered since 2000. It was a hay and cattle ranch previously.
At DD Ranch, an intern will get significant exposure to all aspects of our business – from helping with sheep, pigs, cattle, horses, poultry, goats, planting and caring for pumpkins, hay production, irrigation, farmer’s markets, weddings, pumpkin patch, weekly staff meetings, and possibly accounting/business management if desired. We try to foster a learning environment here and of course are still learning ourselves. We bring in outside experts to help where needed to train staff. Because we operate a livestock operation with twice daily feedings, and move irrigation water twice daily, our farm is a 7 day a week operation. An intern would spend about half a day or more doing physically strenuous work. We will expect 40 hours of training a week. Regular day(s) off will be scheduled to take into consideration other employees’ schedules.
Previous experience with horses, cattle and irrigation would be the most desirable. We operate the ranch mostly on horseback but a 4 wheeler can be used for non-riders.
In the beginning, the intern will train side by side with either a ranch hand or owner. After mastery of skills, some tasks might be expected to be alone, especially simpler ones. Our days vary significantly depending on whether it’s time to hay or work cattle, so priorities are set at the weekly staff meeting. Must be able to be independent. Must be able to train independently. Must be able to tolerate being in the heat, cold, sun, wind, and other elements. Good physical condition is very important.