My name is Hayes Hutter and I am a summer intern for Rock
Hills Ranch. I am from southwest Missouri, around the Springfield area. I am
currently between my freshman and sophomore year at Northeast Oklahoma A&M
College in Miami, Oklahoma, majoring in Animal Science.
My family includes 2 sets of twins—I have a twin brother,
along with a younger brother and sister, who are also twins. Both of my parents
are in the education field. My dad teaches Agriculture Education at Missouri
State University and my mom is a high school English teacher.
Our family ranch is primarily a commercial cow/calf and
stocker operation. The land has been in the family for four generations and I
hope to take it over one day. The Rock Hills Ranch internship appealed to me because
of the focus on grass production, the grazing practices, and the different types
of terrains and forages they have here in Lowry, South Dakota. I hope to expand
my understanding of grazing and herd management practices so that I can take
new ideas back to our family operation.
The Permans have welcomed me with open arms since I stepped
foot on the ranch. I’m excited to be here and can’t wait for the experiences
this summer as opportunities to learn much from Luke and the rest of the
About a week ago I drove about 23 hours to get to Rock Hills Ranch from State College, Pennsylvania. Hello my name is Ben Patterson and I am a 2019 Summer/Fall Intern at Rock Hills Ranch. I just graduated in the May of 2019 from Penn State with an Animal Science major and an Agribusiness Management minor. My family, my parents and my older brother, are from York, Pennsylvania. My dad is an elementary school principal, my mom works in human resources at a Wellspan Hospital, and my brother teaches 7th grade social studies. As a family we spend most of our time together in the woods hunting.
I do not come from an agricultural background. My grandfather always had a few pigs and a cow here and there. My great uncle had a whitetail, red stag, and dairy farm in Northern PA that I spend some time at during the summers. But overall, I have gotten the majority of my experiences in agricultural over the last three years. During my summer after my freshman and sophomore year I worked at Cedar Hill Pork, a farm that has a 700 sow farrow-feeder hog barn and about 70 registered Angus cow-calf pairs. Last summer I worked at Penn State’s Haller Farm, a rotational grazing research facility that has about 70 cow-calf pairs of commercial cattle.
After those experiences, I wanted to find an opportunity to see a different part of the cattle industry. My friend from college, Matt Kelley, was the summer intern last year and told me how great his experience was here at Rock Hills Ranch, so I decided to apply. After just a week I realized that the internship is even better than I expected. Luke is a great teacher and mentor. Since the first day he has allowed me to jump right in and start experiencing and learning new things. The first week was very busy and we put in a lot of long days but I enjoyed every moment of it. The Perman’s are so gracious and kind; they have really treated me like I was part of their family. I am excited to be able to be at Rock Hills Ranch for the next few months.
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.