Moe Ranch

8 month cattle ranching apprenticeship in Two Dot, MT

The Ranch

Moe Ranch LLC is a multigenerational ranch located in the upper Musselshell River valley near Two Dot, MT.  We are a commercial cow calf operation.


Regenerative Practices & Ranching Philosophy

We want the land we manage to be biodiverse with a
healthy mix of plants, animals and microorganisms and to have healthy water and mineral cycles. We harvest as much energy from the sun as possible and seek to have 100 percent cover of our soils with living plant material and litter. Conservation and environmentally sound management practices have always been a priority for us. We fenced out riparian areas, converted 75 acres of poorer quality hay ground into wetlands and invested in irrigation infrastructure improvements that reduce erosion as just a few examples of innovative conservation practices implemented over the years. For the past 8 years we have made a big push to carry that ethic further and integrate regenerative practices into our operation wherever possible. We have eliminated our conventional small grain farming enterprise and started using warm and cool season cover crops to renovate our lower producing hay fields.
We use no till practices wherever possible in lieu of conventional tillage. In 2023 we eliminated our haying enterprise to further our soil health and economic goals. We use managed intensive grazing where possible, especially while grazing in the winter time. We are currently enrolled in the Ranch Management Consultants Executive Link program which has proved to be an invaluable asset in moving our ranch toward our vision.

We have a long history of hiring, training and mentoring entry level employees. Sharing our knowledge and our way of life is part of our vision for the ranch. We are hoping to hire an apprentice who is passionate about regenerative agriculture and who will challenge us to grow and learn while we share our knowledge and experience. Agriculture is a profession that requires a broader knowledge base than any profession I know of. It requires self-directed learning, adaptability, innovation and humility to be successful. I am excited to share my passion and knowledge of ranching regeneratively with someone who has the courage to make a beginning in this profession.

The Mentor

Shane Moe: Moe Ranch is a family owned and operated livestock business. Shane and Jane moved home to the ranch in 2011 after Shane sold his veterinary practice in Deer Lodge, MT. Shane and Jane purchased the ranch business from Shane’s parents in 2022. We are the 3 rd generation to operate on our home place. Shane has pursued training in holistic management, ranch economics, soil health practices, human resources and has been applying these skills in a management role for the past 12 years.


The Apprentice

What will an apprentice Learn?

Cow Calf Enterprise: Duties and skills an apprentice can expect to be exposed to when working with the cow herd include:

  • Calving and other spring time activities- learning to recognize and handle basic dystocia’s, learning to recognize and treat basic calf and cow illness, stockmanship- turning out new pairs, moving large bunches of new pairs, working cows and calves through the corrals at branding.
  • During the summer- grazing planning and range monitoring, conventional barb wire fence repair and maintenance, moving large bunches of pairs through our rotational grazing system, maintaining and monitoring livestock water systems.
  • During the fall- working cows and calves through the corrals using low stress stock handling techniques at preconditioning weaning and pregnancy testing time.
  • We have newly constructed corrals at our home ranch and our leased ranches designed with low stress stock handling and human and cattle safety in mind.
  • Shane is a licensed veterinarian so an apprentice with an interest in animal health and husbandry could expect a lot of exposure and help in learning to design vaccine programs, intervening with dystocia and sickness, etc.

Heifer Development Enterprise: Duties and skills an apprentice can expect to be exposed to when working with the yearling
enterprise include:

  • Developing and implementing grazing planning using permanent and temporary electric fencing and conventional fencing. Designing and installing hi tensile permanent electric fence grazing cells and water systems. We are in the process of improving our grazing infrastructure at home and an apprentice can expect to have an active role in that process.
  • Recognizing and treating illness in stocker cattle.
  • Low stress cattle handling. There will be lots of opportunity to get experience training yearling cattle to be easy and fun to work with.
  • Range monitoring.

Forage Production Enterprise:

  • The purpose of our forage production enterprise is to produce high quality forage for our cattle to graze during the winter months.
  • Duties and skills an apprentice can expect to be exposed to when working in the forage production enterprise:
  • Irrigation: both flood and pivot irrigation and a basic understanding of how water rights in Montana work. Understanding how irrigation can be used to influence the water cycle.
  • Planning and planting cocktail cover crop mixes- we use both warm season and cool season cover crops as a tool when appropriate to improve soil health and to increase productivity on our less productive farm ground.

Soil Health:

  • We are dedicated to soil health. We produce our own vermicast for application on the ranch. An apprentice can expect to learn about vermicast production, harvest and application with other soil amendments on a large scale.

Working On The Business Stuff:

  • Working on the business (WOTB) is an essential part of our operation. WOTB time is the time we dedicate to economic and financial planning. It is also time that we spend making our ranch a better place to work, play and live by developing better systems for our owners and employees to work within.
  • An apprentice can expect that we will share our knowledge of economic and financial projections, building and following a budget, share our knowledge and experience with writing and following employment agreements, and other WOTB essentials.


  • We are dedicated to producing a large portion of our own food. We have a green house and small farm for growing produce for people living on the ranch. Apprentices will be expected to help with the communal parts of the homestead and will have access to their own garden space for personal produce.

What skills and traits are required in an apprentice?

  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Good attitude
  • Hard Worker 

What skills and traits are desired in an apprentice?

  • We are open to a wide range of experience and skills in our ideal candidate and are willing to train an apprentice in all aspects of the work we do. The ability to work both as a team and independently is a must as is a willingness to learn in public. The apprentice must be able to lift 50 pounds and work outdoors in sometimes less than ideal conditions

  • It would be a bonus if an apprentice came with some experience with handling livestock. Experience driving a manual transmission and towing a trailer would be very helpful.

  • Experience operating heavy equipment, operating ATV’s, use of hand tools and power tools and basic mechanic work is desirable in our ideal candidate.

  • We do not use horses to work livestock so that is not a skill we are able to offer training in.

Nuts & Bolts


Start Date: March 15, 2024  

Length of Apprenticeship: 8 to 10 months 

General expected work hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (M-F) / 8:00 – 12:00 (Saturday) Sunday off. This is flexible based on seasonal workload and will occasionally require a full day on the weekends.

Stipend: $1,200/month. We will consider a stipend for appropriate continuing education opportunities. 10 days of paid time off outside of Quivira sponsored educational and networking opportunities. The apprentice will be put on the payroll as a W-2 employee with workers compensation insurance provided by the ranch and administrative and working conditions in full compliance with local labor laws.  

Housing: We have a 300 square foot tiny home/cabin for apprentice housing. The cabin is fully furnished. There are raised beds for gardening if interested. There are laundry facilities available in our shop building next to the cabin. The bed is in a loft so the apprentice must be able to climb a ladder to access the loft.

Internet and cell service: We have a hotspot at our shop office for use for apprenticeship related activities. It is a limited data plan so it is not for use for personal entertainment. There is cell service coverage on most of the ranch through ATT or Verizon. I’m not sure about other carriers.

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 thewest will attend an April orientation, participate in supplemental education provided in partnership with Holistic Management International, 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.

Time off: Every Saturday afternoon and Sunday off except when the work load requires us to work on the occasional weekend day. We are flexible if there is a need for a weekday off to take care of personal business or medical care etc. 10 days of paid time off are assigned at the beginning of the apprenticeship but must have prior approval to use. 

Visitors & Family policy: Family and friends are welcome to visit as long as there is minimal impact on the workload and they respect our policies on personal safety and fire safety.

Food: We will provide ranch raised beef and raised garden beds and seeds for raising your own produce. We have a greenhouse and potato patch for producing a large portion of our diet on the ranch and produce from both are shared when available. Plan on being invited over for dinner and socializing with our family occasionally and when we entertain.

Pets: The ranch is not opposed to pets but it would have to be on a case by case basis with references. Anyone wanting to bring a working dog would have to demonstrate that the dog has sufficient training and experience to be in control at all times. We do not use horses to move cattle.

All the fun stuff: Smoking in the buildings or anywhere/anytime fire danger is a risk on the ranch is prohibited. If they apprentice wants to smoke in an area where there is zero fire risk, it is fine.

Health Insurance: The farming lifestyle has inherent dangers. While personal health insurance is not required to participate in the apprenticeship program, it is strongly encouraged. The farm 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. 

Ranch vehicles: We will provide vehicles for work use.  A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record for use of work vehicles is required.

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.

Laundry: Laundry is available in the shop office near the cabin. 

Additional items an apprentice should bring (i.e. bedding, towels, etc):  The cabin is stocked with basic cooking tools, bedding and towels. 

Living at the Moe Ranch: We believe in work life balance. We are in a beautiful part of the world and we try to enjoy it when we can. There are times of the year when we can’t live up to that commitment (mostly during calving season or herd work days) but by and large we try to limit the work week to 5 ½ days a week or less. We are 20 miles from Harlowton, Montana. Harlowton has a grocery store and there is a brewery in town and a local group started a music festival that brings some decent bands to town every summer. White Sulphur Springs is 40 miles away with hot springs, some good restaurants and a three-day music festival every summer. The Musselshell River is literally in the backyard for someone that wanted to fish after work and the Little Belt Mountains, Castle Mountains and Crazy Mountains are all within a 30-minute drive. We would allow hunting on our property for white tail deer if someone was interested.