The Farm & Ranch
Located south of Lemmon, South Dakota, we are a cow/calf and yearling operation with a small amount of farming to raise annual forage crops for livestock feed. The ranch consists of private land as well as grazing on two Forest Service allotments. The majority of the ranch is contiguous, with just a couple of outlying parcels. We are in the process of rejuvenating old hay fields by farming them for a couple of years before putting them back into perennials, the farming operation consists of less than 200 acres per year. We market our livestock through local sale barns, video sales, and some direct to consumer beef sales.
We believe that we are called to be stewards of the land and the livestock that have been entrusted to us. We strive to graze as much of the year as possible and have a cow herd that will thrive on the resources that the ranch provides. We currently practice adaptive rotational grazing, where we utilize temporary and permanent electric fencing to create pastures that will facilitate long recovery periods for grazed grass. We rotate cattle anywhere from daily to every 30 days. The ranch is set up with many water sources so we have the ability to create an almost endless number of pastures for rotation. Our grazing plan is very adaptive and we are constantly making assessments about grass and livestock conditions to modify our plans.
Our yearlings are the main component of our drought plan. If conditions are dry we will sell yearlings before going to grass, and if conditions are good we run yearlings on grass. We have not had to destock our cow herd due to drought up to this point. We currently do not have any formal monitoring but we are always observing the condition of livestock and land. We are always working on improving the soil and grass as well as livestock genetics, and most of our work is focused on our grazing plan.
Drew & Kayla Anderson
Drew and wife Kayla are fourth generation in agriculture who operate the ranch and they have three young children. They are a Christian family and strive to serve the Lord in all that they do. Drew has a degree in Natural Resource and Range Management and was a Range Conservationist with the US Forest Service before ranching full-time. He is passionate about grazing management and has been working hard on getting water and fencing infrastructure in place to allow for short duration grazing across the ranch. Kayla is involved in all aspects of the ranching operation and would be interacting with the apprentice on a daily basis as well.
What will an apprentice do?
The apprentice will build temporary and permanent electric fence, maintain existing fence, help with haying, raking, baling and stacking hay, move cows, plan grazing, record keep for livestock moves, check water, put out salt and mineral, check cows during calving and tag calves, and help at brandings.
Calving starts April 1, but the majority of calving takes place after April 15th. Cows and bred heifers are calved on pasture unless spring storms require otherwise, and in that case barns and corrals are used. During calving, the cattle are typically checked two to three times per day. During these checks we also tag calves. We like to start haying around the third week of June and we utilize all modern haying equipment with cabs and A/C.
What skills and traits are required in an apprentice?
- Valid Driver’s License
- Able to lift 50 pounds and work in inclement weather.
- The apprentice should be responsible, honest, hard working, a problem identifier and solver, able to learn through observation, and an independent worker. They should also be self-aware and teachable, flexible and able to easily adapt to changing plans and conditions,
Nuts & Bolts
Start Date: March 2023
Length of Apprenticeship: 8 months
General work hours: Monday through Saturday 7:30am-5pm, with Sundays off
Housing: A two bedroom, one bathroom house one mile from ranch headquarters. There is a fridge, oven, bed, and couch. The apprentice is expected to maintain the yard, a mower and weed eater are provided, and there is space for gardening. Apprentice will need to bring cooking utensils, towels, bed sheets, pots and pans.
Laundry: In apprentice housing
Internet availability: In apprentice housing.
Cell Phone Provider: Verizon, AT & T, and T-Mobile service are all options
Time off: Sundays, part of Saturday if the workload allows
Visitors policy: Visitors must be disclosed and approved of before they stay. An approved visitor for up to a week is fine as long as work performance is not hampered.
Food: On a majority of the work days a noon meal will be provided, and the ranch will provide beef. There will be seasonal garden produce available, weather permitting, and possibly chicken and pork.
Pets: Considered on a case-by-case basis, and if approved a deposit will be required.
Horses: A broke, usable ranch horse may be permitted but we do not use horses on the ranch.
Tobacco, alcohol & cannabis use: Not permitted at all on the property, regardless of working hours.
Health insurance: The ranching lifestyle has inherent dangers. While personal health insurance is not required to participate in the apprenticeship program, it is strongly encouraged. The ranch carries Workman’s Compensation to cover injuries incurred on the job. But if the apprentice is injured on his or her day off, gets sick, or has or develops chronic conditions like allergies, these types of issues should be covered by personal health insurance.
Vehicles: Apprentice will drive ranch vehicles during work hours. All pickups except one are automatic transmissions, and the apprentice can learn manual while here.
Personal vehicle: While apprentices will not be asked to use a personal vehicle for work purposes, the apprentice will need the flexibility of his or her own vehicle on their days off in order to run personal errands such as purchasing groceries and for travel.
Additional items apprentice should bring: Gear for all weather, sun protection and snow/rain protection. Apprentice will need to bring cooking utensils, towels, bed sheets, pots and pans.
Living at the Anderson Ranch: The ranch is south of Lemmon, South Dakota, a town with a population of 1200 people. The town has a large grocery store, a farm store, coffee shops, a bowling alley, movie theater and multiple restaurants. There is a community center as well as the Kokomo Art Gallery that hosts many community events. There is also a Placemakers Co-op that focuses on events for the community. The nearest big cities and airports are Dickinson, ND 110 miles away and Bismark, ND 130 miles away. The Black Hills are 200 miles to the SW. The ranch is 14 miles from Shadehill Reservoir, a 5100 acre lake that offers water recreation as well as a healthy fishery. There are other smaller lakes in the area. The ranch borders another state-owned 189 acre lake called Lemmon Lake. There is 150,000 acres of National Grassland in the area that offers undeveloped recreational opportunities. We are 140 miles from the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Quivira Coalition Activities: This apprenticeship is offered through Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program. The full cohort of apprentices on regenerative ranches and farms across the west will attend a late March or early April orientation, participate in supplemental education provided by Quivira Coalition, attend in-person land health workshops and attend the annual Quivira Conference, hosted with Holistic Management International and the American Grassfed Association, in November. Apprentices are also required to write several reports during their apprenticeship; these reports will go through the NAP Coordinator at Quivira, and be posted on the Quivira website.
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