The Roundup -

Rangelands Intern Researches Ranching in Eastern MT


August 1, 2018 | View PDF

Connie Iversen

Abby Northrup, Montana Rangelands intern, on the Iversen Ranch in Richland County

Abby Northrup had not planned to be where she is today when she started MSU Bozeman. She grew up in Helena, Montana. She had participated in 4H, but not with large animals. Her grandfather had bred horses but she had had no part in it and, in fact, had no agricultural background at all. Now, she's at the ranch of Dick and Connie Iversen south of Culbertson, Montana. She's up with the couple helping out, asking questions and learning the unique challenges having to do with ranching in Eastern Montana. While attending MSU, Abby noticed a person from the Montana Rangelands Internship Rangeland Education Program, who was looking for an intern. Abby was interested. "It just seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity," she said.

Abby started this in May of this year but has not been with the Iversens all summer. The Montana Rangelands Internship Rangeland Education Program provides interns the opportunity to gain experience and hands-on training from seasoned landowners on a working agricultural operation. They are provided a stipend during their time in the program. The program also provides a venue for networking opportunities in which the interns are exposed to various individuals within the land management field. This includes local, regional, and national land management meetings, workshops, educational opportunities, and assisting neighbors, researchers, or others involved in land stewardship. The Rangeland Resources Act establishes a program of rangeland management where the importance of Montana's rangeland with respect to livestock, forage, wildlife habitat, high-quality water production, pollution control, erosion control, recreation, and the natural beauty of the state is recognized. It also encourages cooperation and coordination of range management activities between persons and organizations charged with or having the management of rangeland, whether private or public, can be promoted and developed and through it those who are doing exceptional work in range management can receive appropriate recognition. Six committee members for the Rangeland Resources Committee are chosen by the governor from among the ranchers in Montana who have been active in helping in conservation and/or the Ag community and the interns are to spend two weeks at the ranch of each committee member to observe, ask questions and learn. Abi has already been to Gold Creek and Elmo in western Montana, Raynesford in central Montana, and Nye in Southern Montana. After her time with the Iversens, Abby will be going to Mosby in central Montana and spend some time with a rancher there.

Connie Iversen was nominated by the District County Conservation Board of Richland County to be considered as a committee member for the Rangeland Resources Committee. This is the first year of the internship program and Connie found it rewarding to host one of the interns. She said, "It's great to work with young people. Here they get a bird's eye view on a daily basis of the goings on of an agricultural operation." Connie found Abby to be a great person and felt it would be a great opportunity to host interns again from the program.


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