Noble Ranch LLC is located south of Yuma, CO, which sits in the Northeast ¼ of the state. The elevation of the ranch is approximately 4100 feet, and receives an average of 16-18 inches of moisture per year across its gently rolling sandhills. The ranch consists of 7400 deeded acres of rangeland, 9670 acres of leased rangeland, and approximately 2000 acres of leased crop residues.
William A Noble homesteaded here in 1910 and it is currently operated by the third, fourth, and fifth generations. The ranch business is family owned by Lanny and Barbara Noble and Ryan and Ronella Noble. Ryan is the Ranch Manager and will be the primary mentor. Our major enterprises include 600 head angus and angus cross cow-calf pairs bred to calve in the spring, 1600 owned and custom heifers to develop and breed, four angus stud bulls, 1500-2000 outside heifers to artificially inseminate, a 999 head back grounding lot, and custom heifer development.
Noble Ranch is dedicated to providing high quality females and services through innovative, fulfilling, and trustworthy relationships.
Noble Ranch values integrity, quality of life, and stewardship for the future.
The Noble Ranch is a family owned entity. We look at our heritage and build for the happiness, fulfillment, and viability of current and future generations. Planning our legacy is consistent with our everyday operations.
Our vision is to be financially responsible while actively pursuing profit. Systems are constantly being evaluated for efficiency and effectiveness of current production and/or expansion. We will be a practical model for the ranching industry, while providing an educational environment for others to learn about new systems and concepts.
Sound environmental and ecological practices are used to optimize grazing systems and wildlife habitat.
Noble Ranch is dedicated to simple, low-input operating. Using dependable and capable employees as well as specialized contract labor, our goal is to keep overheads and direct costs low and maintain high gross margins. Regular meetings, goal setting, and educational opportunities are a priority for employees and ownership.
Noble Ranch envisions an adaptive approach as stalwart stewards of our surroundings, real-world genetics, and community. We strive to create high quality females for serious ranchers. These females have been developed, handled, and represented with integrity. Taking care of people, livestock, and our environment are important to Noble Ranch. We say what we do and do what we say because honesty and integrity are vital to our personal relationships with customers who seek high-quality females, raised in an authentic environment.
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Ryan Noble is the ranch manager and primary mentor. He grew up on the Noble Ranch and has always had an interest and a passion for land, cattle, and horses. Ryan knew from a young age that he wanted to be a rancher. Ryan believes we are coming into a time that is going to be filled with so many opportunities in the ranching industry. If people have a plan and a purpose, the sky will be the limit as far as what he/she can achieve. We are already in a major labor deficit in the cattle business, and the people who figure out the “people problem” in our industry will be in the driver’s seat. Helping people new to agriculture is not new to the Noble Ranch operation and they are dedicated to providing opportunities to help new agrarians learn the skills necessary to run a successful cattle business while caring for the land. Ryan has had many mentors throughout his own career and still relies on them for their leadership, support, and selfless commitment to him and his success. Each of his mentors have helped Ryan get to where he is today. Through mentoring others in agriculture he hopes to continue to “pay it forward.”
What will an apprentice do?
An apprentice will be involved in all aspects of the ranch.
Below is a list of the tasks an apprentice can expect to do during their time at Noble Ranch:
- Animal Health: Brand, ear tag, vaccinate, monitor herd health (diagnosis and treatment of sicknesses and diseases), roping, sorting, low stress animal handling, breeding, implement artificial insemination and synchronization programs, heat detection, monitor breeding bulls.
- Calving: ear tagging, pairing cows and calves, checking pairs, pulling calves, doctor calves, maintain records.
- Feeding: operate loader, processor, feed wagon, bale bed, grind hay, mix rations, keep records.
- Grazing: daily movement of cattle, daily monitoring of grazing conditions and water, put out salt and mineral, daily documentation of all the above.
- Fencing and Facility: construction and maintenance of barb wire fences, permanent high tensile electric fences, temporary electric fences, construction and maintenance of watering facilities, corrals, structures, operate loader tractor, box scraper, mower.
- Machinery and Vehicles: change oil, check tires, check fluid level, light mechanical repairs, power wash, vacuum.
- General Skills: riding, roping, welding, scooping poop, operate tractor, light mechanical repairs, artificial insemination, preg checking, hoof trimming, computer skills, willingness to learn, work independently or with a team.
April 1 we will be winding down our cornstalk grazing program, rolling up temporary fences, calving cows, and getting ready to send yearlings to wheat pasture or putting them in the backgrounding lot. The yearlings will be receiving their pre-breeding shots and calves will be tagged and pairs moved to grass traps. We will then be feeding cattle, moving yearlings and pairs, and starting the neighbors branding season.
May is busy with artificial insemination, branding calves, rotating cattle, synchronizing for breeding systems, fertility checking bulls, and fencing.
June is when all of the cattle are out on grass. Bulls are in with the yearling heifers. At this point of the season cattle moves are daily and we will be monitoring moisture and range conditions on the ranch.
July is grazing, vacations, ultrasound and marketing of open yearlings.
August is county fair, grazing, fall facility maintenance, and planning for the next year ahead.
September is preconditioning calves, purchasing feed, weaning calves, marketing bred females, purchasing heifer calves, and planning grazing for the next season.
October is weaning calves, grazing cornstalks, purchasing calves, pregnancy checking cows, and shipping bred females.
November is weaning calves, grazing cows, re vaccinating calves.
What IS THE PRIMARY ROLE OF THE main mentor?
Ryan Noble, primary mentor, ranch manager. Ryan is very hands on when it comes to planning and executing tasks on the ranch. Ryan spends several hours in the office each week to ensure that the ranch is focusing on what is essential and important to the business. Ryan enjoys teaching systems and protocols to people new to the ranch. Lanny Noble (Ryan’s father) lead technician, spent his entire life on the ranch has picked corn by hand as a youth and has helped with genomic identification on beef cattle (been there done that). Lanny offers a lot of perspective in the ranching industry. Ronella Noble (Ryan’s wife) is a stay at home mom, VP of Human Resources, Head cook and bottle washer, part time cowboy, and taught elementary school for 9 years. Barb Noble (Ryan’s mother) is the head gopher, social liaison, official cheerleader, and part time cowboy. Barb has a masters degree in reading and has taught all levels of public school in 7 different decades.
Nuts & Bolts
Start Date: Our apprenticeships run March through November with the possibility of extending through the winter if it is a good fit. We are flexible on exact start dates.
Stipend: The stipend is determined each year by available funds. Typically the take home pay is around $1000 monthly. The stipend may or may not cover monthly expenses for the apprentice based on his or her needs and lifestyle. The position does not allow time for a second job, so the apprentice should consider his or her budgetary needs before applying to this position.
Time off: Apprentices will work 45-50hrs per week with 1.5days off. Our whole crew strives to complete all tasks from 7am to 5pm Monday through Friday with a one hour lunch (provided) break. We usually work until noon on Saturday, and depending on the time of year we do a minimum amount of chores Sunday morning. Rarely do we ever schedule anything for Sunday.
Housing: Apprentice will live in a two bedroom, one bath ranch house. The house has a newer stucco exterior, updated windows, updated insulation, new roof, new flooring, fenced lawn/yard with sprinkling system. No dishwasher.
Services available to the apprentice:
- Washer and dryer: Washer and dryer are available for the apprentice.
- Internet connection: Viaero wireless with cell phone or individual plan.
- What is cell phone service like on your ranch? What is the best provider for cell phone service? Viaero Wireless. We ask all crew members to keep personal cell phone use to a minimum during the work day.
Visitors Policy: We would ask that apprentices limit their visitors to less than a week for non-family members, and consult us about different situations with family members wanting to stay longer than that.
Food: Apprentice will be on their own for breakfast. We will provide lunch as a group Monday through Friday and on Saturdays if we are working past noon. Leftover meals from lunch will be available for the apprentice to take home for an evening meal. The apprentice will be provided with frozen beef from the ranch.
Pets: Horses and working dogs will be evaluated on an individual basis to make sure that they are safe and respectful. Cats are welcome. No animals in the house please.
All the fun stuff: We permit tobacco use on the ranch but no smoking at any time indoors is permitted or in vehicles. Smokeless tobacco use is OK. Alcohol use on the ranch is permitted in moderation. No alcohol during work hours, period.
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. Noble 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.
Ranch Vehicles: Apprentice will be expected to operate ranch vehicles. Most vehicles are automatic transmission and 4WD.
Personal Vehicle: Apprentices are encouraged to have their own vehicle for personal use off the ranch, but it is not required.
Guns: Apprentice is allowed to bring guns to the ranch but we expect to be consulted if apprentice wants to use guns on our property.
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 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.
COVID-19 policy: We ask that our apprentice would use lots of common sense when it comes to the pandemic. If you have symptoms, take the necessary precautions and let us know. If you have been around someone who has been ill, you will probably be expected to distance while working for a period of time. Just use common sense.
Living in Yuma, Colorado: The Noble Ranch is located nine miles south of Yuma which is in the northeast corner of the state of Colorado. The town of Yuma itself has a population of about 3000 residents. Amenities include a grocery store, several national chain hardware stores, public golf course, movie theater, micro-brewery, local gym, ten restaurants, two hotels, and several small shopping opportunities. Within the county, there is excellent upland bird hunting, some water sports opportunities, world class mule deer and antelope, as well as several historical sites. We are within 2.5 to 3 hours of the Denver metro area, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Fort Collins, Loveland, and all the amenities that go with them.
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 an April orientation, participate in supplemental education, and attend the annual Quivira Conference, hosted with Holistic Management International and the American Grassfed Association, in November. Apprentices are also required to write two reports during their apprenticeship; these reports will go through the NAP Coordinator at Quivira, and be posted on the Quivira website.
Specific challenges an apprentice could help with: One of our biggest holdups for more management intensive grazing is water storage on summer pasture. We have been looking to increase herd size, but water is definitely a limiting factor.
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