[Ok-sus] 2013 Internships at the Kerr Center

George Kuepper gkuepper at kerrcenter.com
Thu Dec 27 09:03:57 CST 2012

Kerr Center’s 2013
Internship opportunities will again be available at Kerr Center’s Stewardship Ranch, near Poteau, Oklahoma. These internships are part of a long-term plan to develop Kerr Center as a destination for education and training in sustainable agriculture.  Student interns work alongside staff to develop demonstrations and deliver educational programs.
What Kerr Center Interns Do:
Our internship program focuses primarily on hands-on activities in sustainable livestock and organic horticulture.  These activities include field and, when necessary, laboratory and shop work. 

The livestock program revolves primarily around rotational grazing, sustainable beef production, and preservation of Pineywoods cattle—a heritage breed.
Livestock activities may include fence building, moving stock, pasture evaluation, animal health management, and performance scoring. 

The horticulture program is focused on: 
1)      organic soil building and weed management through crop rotation and the use of cover crops; 
2)      exploring and implementing on-farm fertility supplementation using compost, vermicompost, compost teas and extracts, biochar, and other farm-generated inputs; 
3)      evaluation of heritage vegetable varieties; 
4)      season extension. 
Horticulture interns may assist in various aspects of horticultural work including planting, cultivation, irrigation, composting, integrated pest management, and harvest activities. 

Livestock and horticulture interns also spend about 20 percent of their time in guided learning activities and projects that typically include academic reading and study, attending local field days, workshops, and meetings.  In all instances, topics addressed will be relevant to sustainable agriculture and supportive of Kerr Center's work.
And because of our focus on education, interns will be expected to participate in one or more field days—presenting the details of work they are doing.  They may also be asked to conduct tours for visitors, speak to local groups, and/or write publications and reports.
Working Conditions:
Hands-on work in horticulture and livestock can be tiring and physically demanding. Work during the summer months can be especially so due to heat, humidity, and pests. Those with health conditions that might be limited by these conditions should not apply. 

Interns are expected to work and study a minimum of 40 hours each week.  The standard work week at the Kerr Center is Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm.  Schedules, however, are flexible to meet the needs of livestock chores and crop management, inclement weather, and the timing of educational events, which are often scheduled on evenings or Saturdays.   Interns are expected to adjust their schedules as needed.

Supervision will be provided by the Kerr Center's internship coordinator and other staff managing livestock, horticulture, and other project areas. 

Length of Terms:
We seek to accommodate college students, and expect that most applicants are looking for a 10–12 week summer term.  We are open, however, to proposals for longer or shorter terms, and also to spring or fall internships. 

Openings available:
The Kerr Center has sponsored 2–4 internships per year since 2008.  We currently have funding for 2 interns in 2013.  
Kerr Center interns are compensated in the same manner as temporary employees and are paid a standard minimum wage.  Interns are covered by Workers’ Comp.  Health insurance, however, is not provided by Kerr Center, and applicants must have proof of coverage.  Interns do not earn vacation hours.  However, they may take time off for any holidays that fall within the term of their internship.  
Kerr Center has on-site housing with basic utilities and internet access available for a modest rental charge.   While we prefer that interns live on-site, they may choose alternative housing.  Poteau is roughly 5 miles from the Ranch and has a variety of housing options.   
Meals are only provided occasionally, but interns have access to produce from demonstration horticulture projects, plus some livestock products, free-of-charge.
We are seeking high quality, self-motivated individuals, who are interested in sustainable agriculture. 

Applicants must:
- be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years of age.
- have a valid and clear U.S. driver's license. 
- be in good physical health and able to do moderate physical labor, e.g. lift 50 lbs. and be active for extended periods.
- have basic computer and communication skills. 
- have health insurance.  

How to apply:
We would like a resumé outlining your educational and work background, a letter of interest, and contact information for three references. 
In your letter, please indicate:
1) your preference for work primarily with livestock or with horticulture. If you have no preference, please state so. 
2) Your preferred starting date and the length of term you are seeking.
3) If you have experience and skills at writing, video development, or formatting documents, a sample of your recent work would also be welcome.

Mail, email, or fax your application to George Kuepper at the address provided below. 

We will acknowledge receipt of your application. Phone interviews and site visits will be arranged for promising applicants prior to final selection. 

Preference will be given to permanent or temporary residents of the Mid-south, who are enrolled in graduate or undergraduate degree programs in agriculture, ecology, environmental policy, education, and related fields. We especially welcome those who might seek college credit for their experience at the Kerr Center and will provide whatever documentation your academic department might require. While college-age students are our target audience, we will give full consideration to applications from non-traditional students and others. 

Application Deadline:
The deadline for applications for 2013 internships is February 15, 2013 or until suitable candidates are found.   

For Further Information, contact: 
George Kuepper
Internship Coordinator
Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
P.O. Box 588
Poteau, OK 74953
918-647-9123 (tel)
918-647-8712 (fax)
gkuepper at kerrcenter.com 

For more information on the Kerr Center, visit our Web site at: www.kerrcenter.com
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