About The Ranch
The Wellnitz ranch is a family-owned and operated, cow/calf operation located 30 miles southwest of Nenzal, in Cherry County Nebraska. The ranch, located near the Samual R. McKelvie National Forest and the Merritt Reservoir, is an area rich in community, ranch history, wildlife, and sandhills beauty. The ranch consists of 15,000 acres of soft sandhills, sub-irrigated meadows, four center pivots, and includes 3600 acres of leased forest ground.
Ken and Tammy have a life-long background in ranching, but this south ranch is newly founded. After a devasting wildfire burned through their home place, they started looking and found the opportunity to acquire this ranch. After acquiring the ranch (Steer Creek) the Wellnitz's have been improving structures, building infrastructure, and recovering the grasslands. By putting to work regenerative practices such as rotational grazing, grazing plans, and pasture health monitoring, they are working to improve the carrying capacity of the ranch. They envision a sustainable and resilient operation that has the potential to run all their cows, as well as background calves over the winter.
Calving is in April and May with brandings at the end of May. Long busy days of summer are spent taking care of cattle and moving them for rotational grazing, fixing fences, putting up hay, and any tasks the ranch needs. The Wellnitz’s are committed to managing and operating with regenerative principles for healthy land, animals, people, and wildlife, and to be able to pass it on better to the next generation. They are excited to share their knowledge and way of life with an intern who is passionate about ranching or beginning the profession.
Ken, Tammy, and Kane Wellnitz
Ken and his wife Tammy of 38 years own and operate Wellnitz Ranch. Ken was born and raised in the Rushville area into the ranching way of life. Growing up he remembers taking care of cows with his dad before school. It’s all he’s ever known and all he’s ever wanted to do. Ken is excited to share with an intern about the possibilities in ranching, getting started from scratch, and building up.
Tammy is very involved in the everyday operations of the ranches. She was raised on a farm/ranch and knows all aspects of the operation. She is a dedicated horsewoman and is very active in training and competing in ranch horse competitions. Ken and Tammy have one son, Kane.
Kane (27 years old) attended college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for International Ag Business. Kane has traveled and worked in Africa, Texas, and currently works for a Nebraska Ag company. Kane and his fiancé Anna Kobza (UNL final year getting her PhD in Ruminant Nutrition) help on the ranch whenever it is possible, with Kane helping calve out during the month of April.
Andrea Beck helps manage Steer Creek. Andrea was born and raised in Iowa on a cow/calf operation. A graduate of South Dakota State University, Andrea spent several years working on ranches in Nebraska before taking the position to help manage the ranch. Andrea is passionate about the land, plants, and grazing management. Her experience with cattle and the desire to improve the land has aligned well with the Wellnitz’s and she is excited to share her skills with an intern. Andrea values her faith and strives to live in and enjoy each moment.
An intern will work closely with the mentors on a variety of ranching tasks as their capabilities allow, including but not limited to calving, brandings, rotational grazing systems, pasture management and evaluation, fencing, pairing and moving cattle, cattle health monitoring, and haying.
Ken and Tammy are willing to teach an intern about any aspect of the ranch management and business that is of interest.
Horseback riding experience is not required. However, horses are utilized for moving cattle, doctoring, and branding cattle and there is an opportunity to learn how to ride horses if desired. ATVs are used to move cattle, cover ground checking pastures, cattle, water, and putting out salt and mineral.
Additional responsibilities as needed and as per request.
· Valid Driver’s License
· Willingness to Learn and Work Hard.
· Go Getter Attitude.
· Sense of Humor
· Respectful of Property and Equipment
Length of Internship: 3 Months
Stipend: Wellnitz Ranch will pay a monthly stipend estimated at $2,100.00/month.
General work hours: The typical work week is 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Monday through Saturday. Hours will vary, depending on the season and activities. The regular day off is Sunday. There is a community church close by.
Housing and Meals: Shared housing will be provided on the ranch. The house is fully furnished and includes internet, cell service, laundry and a kitchen. All bedding, towels, kitchen and household items are included. Housing is to be kept clean. Some food and meals will be provided. Visitors are welcome with the mentor’s approval.
Horse: The intern may bring a broke horse for ranch use.
Cell Phone Service: Verizon/Viaero service on the ranch.
Vehicles: A ranch vehicle will be provided for ranch-related work.
Living in at Wellnitz Ranch: Cody is 38 miles away and has all basic amenities including a place to eat, a grocery store, and a gas station. Valentine is an hour away and offers basic amenities and additional services and shopping options. Wellnitz Ranch is in a very remote area but offers many recreational activities including fishing, hiking, floating the river, and canoeing. Community events include brandings, barbeques, church socials, and other events.
Educational Activities: The intern will have the opportunity to attend select workshops and participate in various ranch tours.