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The Rockin H Ranch offers internships throughout the summer months each year. These internships offer young men and women the opportunity to live and work alongside the Holmes' while gaining ranching and gardening experience. Intern space is limited; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  
 
Although no previous experience is required, our interns gain experience that will last them a lifetime. Our requirements are rigid, though attainable, and the satisfaction of a job well done comes from the amount of effort put forth. Our requirements are as follows:

  • Internships are available year round depending on work load on the farm. 
  • Internships are available in 4-month periods. Work is based on a 5-1/2 day week, although regular daily chores are required 7 days a week. Sundays are generally required daily chores only and Saturdays usually have a minimal work load. At certain times our chores may require extra work on weekends or evenings.  Bunks will be furnished and food will be available for preparing your own meals, with occasional mealtimes with the Holmes'. Phone or internet is not included. 
  • Transportation around the ranch is attached to you. We do a lot of walking to and from our chore areas and expect you to do the same. We also do a lot of bicycle riding to and from the garden areas.  Bicycles will be provided for you or you are welcome to bring your own. 
  • Physical requirements include sweat and a lot of effort. We can guarantee if the effort is put forth, you will be in good physical shape when you leave. 
  • Emotional requirements require an understanding of the importance of the work you are doing and why. Once this is understood, we can guarantee you will find satisfaction at the end of the day. 
  • Attitude and appearance are extremely important to us. We expect you to want to be here, to be happy about being here, and be willing to learn and listen. We expect you to be a clean-cut, responsible individual that can survey a situation and find a solution. We expect dependability and a positive attitude and do not tolerate complaining or disrespect.
Our requirements may appear harsh, and our workload heavy, but we live, work and play on the ranch and expect you to become as one of the family, living, working and playing alongside us.  We work hard but we would not trade our lifestyle or the opportunities held for us here.
 
Our next available openings are for the summer-fall of 2015.  If interested, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will contact you with an application.
 
The Rockin H Ranch also offers year-long Apprenticeships for those serious about having a complete educational experience on the ranch.  Apprentices will have the opportunities to learn every aspect of farm management for every enterprise on the ranch with our Holistic Systems style of management.  Requirements for Apprentices are the same as for our Interns, although more responsibility and dependability will be required.  Apprentices receive a monthly stipend with more equipped housing.  Contact us for more information about our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Notes from our former Interns:

"To the Holmes',

Hi!!!  *Waving fast and smiling big*  Thank you so much for everything.  Thank you for letting me stay with y'all and dealing with me (I know it was soooooo easy).

Cody, thanks for the tips and answering my many questions.  I do have a (strong) feeling that or this won't be the end.  The Lord willing, I may start somethin'.  But I got a looong way to go before then.  Thanks anyways!  By the way... How was your day?  (I'll miss that darn garden of yours)

Dawnnell, thank you for being like a mother to me for the 6 weeks I was here!  I'll never forget the bleach bath you gave me, and most importantly, the taste of your awesomely good tasting chocolate gravy and biscuits.  Oh...also your "rarely" made chocolate chip cookies.  I'm going to miss that I "reckon".  And I reckon I might just be back for that *wink* (purposely used bad grammar).

Taylor Joe Bob What-ever-name-you're-using right now!  Thank your for being... Taylor (seriously serious, annoying, funny, caring, and loving what you do)!  You inspired me in a way, and I'll never forget it!  I loved our talk of the future.  Some day, some day... in the far future, it'll happen.

If I ever start anything that has to do with farming and/or ranching... this is my foundation.  Thank you for giving me that!  (Marrying a rancher &/or a rich farmer doesn't count!)

Mahalo, Lina"


ARLEN AT ROCKIN' H

"My last day on Rockin H, Dawnnell mentioned that she and Cody were still short of interns for the upcoming summer, their busiest season.  From June through August they needed to raise and slaughter several hundred free-range broiler hens; run their big cow herd; tend to their sheep, goats, and pigs; and grow several acres of vegetables, both for their own consumption and to load into their CSA boxes along with the meat.  I couldn't think of anyone to send their way but promised her that I would ask my sixteen-year-old daughter, Arlen, if she had friends who might like to apprentice on a Missouri beef farm.

Arlen mulled it over for ten minutes and then, to my complete amazement, volunteered herself.  At that particular time, she was in a phase of high ennui.  She had multicolored hair, wore thick black eyeliner, sported many more piercings than your average sixteen-year-old, and was convinced that there was nothing in the world that warranted her interest.  Nothing, that is, beyond sleeping, doodling subversive drawings in her oversize sketchbooks, or hanging with a handful of equally tortured Berkeley High students at the Gilman, an all-ages music club best known for spawning the punk band Green Day.  Somehow it was hard to picture her getting up at 6:00 a.m. and doing hard labor on Rockin' H, where the only reprieve would be the Sunday morning service at nearby Hartville Free Will Baptist Church.  But now the prospect of beef farming - of all things - had suddenly sparked Arlen's interest, and she was not to be deterred.

Two months later, carrying a small knapsack (mostly full of pens and sketchbooks) and wearing her new steel-toed work boots, Arlen boarded a plane to Springfield, Missouri, via Denver.  Dawnnell e-mailed that night to tell me that she had arrived.  Then, for days, there was silence.  This did not alarm me, since Rockin' H is in a valley with very little cell service and only one dial-up Internet connection, but my husband and I were dying to hear how Arlen had taken to farming life.  We wondered if she was suffering in silence, counting the days till she could return to Berkeley.  Finally, a week into her stay, a photo appeared on my phone, texted by a fellow ranch intern who must have found a pocket of cell coverage.  It showed Arlen, a bandana wrapped around her nose and mouth, her eyes shining, holding a kerosene can in one sooty hand and setting fire to a defunct chicken coop.  The caption read:  "im good."

Another three weeks passed and then, the day before her return, I got this email:

   Hello Daphne,

Today was Arlen's last day at the ranch and we are going to miss her once she is gone.  We enjoyed her and her funny little quirks.  She seems to be the kind that can adapt very quickly anywhere she may go.  I am certain that if she were to stay much longer the metal rings would come out and the rubber boots would become a permanent fixture, since I fear hillbilly Arlen would eventually take over.  She has brightened our day every day.  Hope to see you both again soon.

God Bless,

Cody Holmes

The next day I was standing near the security gate at San Francisco Airport waiting for Arlen to appear.  I scanned the stream of passengers, excited to greet her and nervous that I wouldn't spot her in the crowd.  Then, sure enough, I almost missed her.  Not because I didn't see her, but because I didn't recognize her.  The sixteen-year-old I had watched shuffle through the departure gate almost a month earlier had been totally transformed into a smiling, tan woman with popping biceps who strode confidently past me.  It turns out that I had completely underestimated her.  She loved everything.  The hard work, the long hours, the opressive heat, the animals, the big farm meals, the raw milk, the other teenage interns who came from rural families and were commmitted to farming - and most of all, Cody, Dawnnell, and Taylor.

'Being there made me feel important, like I could do anything', Arlen told me as we sat together in the car in the airport parking lot.  Then she gave Rockin' H what, for her, is the highest praise imaginable.  "It was cool."

In retrospect, Arlen's time with the Holmes family marked a big turning point in her life.  She returned to school with a new identity (farm boots and all), more confidence, and a different perspective; many things that had previously held no value for her suddenly became interesting.  When I think about all the ways in which Cody's holistic system fosters healthy calves and heifers, I have to laugh.  Little had I expected when I was on Rockin' H that my own gangly calf would be a beneficiary." 

--excerpt from Dr. Daphne Miller's book, Farmacology


Dear Cody,

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all is well with you, your family, and Rockin' H.

I met with Dylan last Friday, and your name came up in our conversation, so I was reminded that it's high time that I send you an update - which I think you will find encouraging.

After his internship with you last year, Dylan spent several months with me. I struggled to mentor him in several areas of life, how to work a regular schedule, follow instructions, complete his work in a timely manner, balance a checkbook, and most of all - to seek Christ in all that he does. The mentorship was arduous, frustrating, and rewarding for all of us.

Dylan headed back to California in about November of last year. Shortly thereafter, he expressed his determination to join the Army. In order to do so, he needed to concentrate on physical fitness. He got involved with a local gym and physical trainer, and by jove, he did it! Dylan enlisted in the Army in March of this year. Since that time, he has graduated from boot camp, made it through the next leg of the journey, and wound up in Fort Benning, GA, where he graduated from paratrooper school last Friday. I was present for the momentous occasion, and had the good pleasure of visiting with him extensively over the weekend.

Dylan is now trying to get accepted into the Ranger training program.

I know that his presence at your facility caused you some frustration and head scratching, but I wanted to thank you for reaching out to him the way that you did. You had a positive and lasting impact on this young man's life.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief update, and wish you the very best.

Steve


Cody and Dawnnell Holmes,

 
Dylan wanted me to let you know that he is serving in the U. S. Army.  He enlisted last Spring and was sent for Boot Camp to Fort Sill in Oklahoma.  He graduated boot in August, 2012.  Dylan did his AIT [advanced individual training] and graduated for Quartermaster at Fort Lee in Virginia.  He then went to Fort Benning in Georgia where he completed and graduated Paratrooper.  He is currently stationed to Fort Campbell, Kentucky as part of Special Forces, Advanced Air Strike.
 
Dylan thanks you for your part  in his maturing / growing up.
 
Sincerely,
Lawrence, Grandfather