Hey! My name is Kate Fleming and I am the 2023 Rock Hills Ranch summer intern. I grew up in Northern Virginia and I would have never guessed that one day I would be spending a month on a cattle ranch in South Dakota! I am the oldest of five kids, four girls and one boy. My dad works in the hospitality industry and my mom homeschools all of us kids. Growing up in the suburbs, farms were few and far between, but God provided our friends from church who were also praying about someone to help, and they owned a small 20 acre homestead in Leesburg, VA. I was a 14 year old girl with little experience about farming and after 2 ½ years, it felt like leaving family rather than just leaving a job. The Henderson’s are an amazing family and what they taught me about homesteading I will always remember. (even to mulch the garden rows on the hottest day by wheelbarrows!) We recently moved to Franklin, TN and there I heard about Rock Hills Ranch and their internship program through a friend.
I have now just finished two weeks on the ranch and the amount of agricultural information I have learned is amazing! From moving cows in a stress-free manor, planting native trees, tagging baby cows and baking homemade bread and strawberry-rhubarb jam (my new favorite!)
This experience is giving me a small idea of life as a rancher, and the ways the Permans work with nature and reuse items that would otherwise be thrown away. This Internship will further my knowledge about ranching as I finish up high school and start looking on towards college.