As my summer comes to a close here at Rock Hill Ranch, I’m feeling very thankful for the opportunity I was presented to intern here. The knowledge I have gained has been priceless along with the great experiences. Learning new grazing practices as well as less intensive management has been invaluable and something I can bring back to my home operation. Most importantly I have learned to make the most of my opportunities and be thankful for my experiences. Spending time with the Perman family has been more than I could have ever asked for. They have been so good to me over this summer in teaching me and guiding me through the day to day on the ranch. Paying attention to what is happening around me and not taking it for granted. I am sad to leave this beautiful landscape and I definitely plan to make it back one day to visit. So long!
After a little over 1200 miles from New York my summer adventure has begun. Hi folks my name is Matt Kelley and I am the 2018 summer intern for Rock Hills Ranch. I come from a small town in New York called Cobleskill, granted it’s not nearly as small as the towns around here. I am one of three boys in my family, and my mom reminds us every day she always wanted at least one girl. My family owns and operates a hardware store in our hometown, but it is not your average hardware store. Along with the hardware side of things we also have a full service lumber yard, a feed mill, rental business and sell farm and ranch equipment as well as our own meat products all under the same roof. Another business that fills the rest of our time is the farm. We raise registered Alpine dairy goats and also have a herd of registered Angus cows. Growing up I had always been a part of 4-H and showing animals across the state and country. Once I got older I really focused on the cattle side of our farm. I worked with my animals endlessly and always looked for ways to improve our genetics and chances of winning in the show ring. This past May, I graduated from Penn State University with a bachelors in Animal Science. I had always planned to move back and work in my parents business with them and one day hopefully pry my father’s hands off of the reigns and run it myself. I decided that before I do that I should get other experiences working for different managers other than my father. So I decided to apply for this ranch internship, since I had always wanted to move West and get an inside look of how cattle country really operates. I’ve been here for a few weeks now and have tried to hit the ground running. This experience has been all that I had hoped. The terrain here in the Midwest is stunning and you can never have a bad day when your office is on the four-wheeler checking cows. The Perman’s have welcomed me very graciously to their ranch and are a great family to work for and get along with. The four kids are a breath of fresh air after a hot day of working on the ranch. Luke has taken the time to make sure I understand why we’re doing certain tasks. We also have very engaging conversations and Luke always has a different way of thinking about things than I do and encourages me to think outside of the box. All in all the internship has been a great success and I am looking forward to the rest of my summer here at Rock Hills Ranch.