About The Ranch
Palmer Ranch is a family-run cow-calf operation rooted in the eastern Sandhills. Founded in the 1980’s by Keith and Cathy Palmer, their son, Jay Palmer, manages and runs the operation with his wife Jaci Palmer and their two young children. The ranch has grown and evolved since Jay returned home from college in 2009. With goals of growth and sustainability, for themselves and future generations, the Palmers believe in “focusing on the cattle.” Asking themselves, what can they do to make their cow herd better, that will, in turn, make their lives better. With selective breeding and an extensive A.I. program, Jay strives for a well-rounded cow herd. The Palmers have gentle cattle and low-stress livestock handling is paramount. Horses are used on the ranch for livestock movements and doctoring. They begin calving in February with brandings starting in April. The A.I. breeding of cows and heifers begins in the middle of May after which they go to summer grass. The cleanup bulls are pulled in July. Preconditioning is done in August with calves being weaned early October.
The ranch has a rotational grazing program in place moving cattle regularly through the gently rolling sandhills. Haying begins in July. The Palmers put up all of their hay and do custom haying for a few neighbors.
The Palmers love the ranching lifestyle and hope to help preserve and maintain the ranching way of life for future generations. They are dedicated to caring for their livestock and land and are proud to contribute to feeding the world.
Jay & Jaci Palmer
Jay and Jaci both grew up in the area and attended Wheeler Central School. Jay graduated college from Southeast Community College in Beatrice with a degree in Livestock Production. After Jay returned to the ranch, he expanded the A.I. program pouring quality genetics into their cattle herd and developing replacements best suited for their goals. Jay is currently an ABS representative, assisting his clients with bull selection, synchronization schedules, and artificial insemination of their cattle. Jay is passionate about cattle and has a true intuition in caring for them.
Jaci graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a degree in Agriculture Education and minor in Animal Science in 2011. She received her master's degree from the University of Nebraska - Kearney in 2015. Jaci taught Agriculture for 5 years and currently works at the Educational Service Unit, in which she visits schools to help with professional development and classroom technology. Together they manage the ranching bookwork.
Jay and Jaci have two children, Jett who is 9 years old, and Jemma who is 4 years old. The Palmers are a multi-generational family operation and help each other with whatever ranch work needs to be done.
An intern will work closely with Jay on a variety of ranching tasks as their capabilities allow, including but not limited to: rotational grazing systems, pasture management and evaluation, cattle moves, health monitoring, and branding. Haying which includes mowing, raking, baling, gathering and moving bales. Repairs and maintenance of equipment. Infrastructure building and repairs including welding. Checking and maintenance of windmills and water lines.
An intern will have an opportunity to learn about livestock breeding; synchronization schedules, artificial insemination, semen handling, and low-stress cattle handling.
Record keeping; online cowherd records and inventories. The Palmers are willing to teach an intern any aspect of the ranch operation that is of interest.
Horseback riding experience is not required. However, horses are utilized for cattle work and an intern has an opportunity to learn if desired. ATVs are also used.
Additional responsibilities as needed and per request.
Valid Driver’s License
Willingness to learn
Comfortable with children and family atmosphere
Length of Internship: 3 Months
Stipend: Palmer Ranch will pay a monthly stipend estimated at $2,100.00/month.
General work hours: The typical work week is Monday through Saturday. Hours may vary depending on the season and activities. The regular day off is Sunday.
Housing and Meals: A fully furnished basement guest suite is provided at the Palmer residence with a separate entrance. All utilities provided. Housing is to be cared for and kept clean. Most lunches are provided.
Cell Phone Service: Viaero and Verizon cell phone service. Internet is available.
Vehicles: A ranch vehicle will be provided for ranch-related work.
Horse: The intern may bring a broke horse for ranch use.
Additional items the Intern should bring: The intern should bring their own tack if they wish, sturdy work clothes along with work boots, gloves, a hat, and a good attitude.
Living at Palmer Ranch: O’Neill is 25 miles away and has all basic amenities including places to eat and drink, a grocery store, a hotel, a post office, and gas stations. Throughout the summer, local Independence Day town celebrations, Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, area County Fairs, ranch rodeos and other small-town activities such as tanking down the Cedar River are available near the Palmer Ranch.
Educational Activities: The intern will be able to attend select workshops and participate in various ranch tours.