Organic Animal Ag Internships

Contact information
Farm Address:
46352 MN Hwy 329
Morris, Minnesota, 56267

Primary Contact: Ed Brands
Primary Phone:
    Number: 612 607 4461


Internship information
General Farm Description: ● Two placements at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC in Morris, MN, focusing on organic swine, organic dairy, organic pastures, and other organic feed production. The WCROC has for more than 100 years worked with farmers and rural communities on applied agricultural research and education and is part of a network of research centers administered by the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. Dr. Yuzhi Li, Swine Behavior and Welfare Professor, and Dr. Bradley Heins, Dairy Professor, lead the organic animal agriculture research and extension at the WCROC. On-site lodging may be available. Interns are expected to be on site for a minimum of 10 weeks between mid-May and mid-August. ● Two placements (June 3-August 10) at Prairie Horizons Farm (, home to original tallgrass prairie, restored prairie, diverse grasslands, gardens, orchards, crystal clear ponds and an abundance of life. Luverne and MJ Forbord manage the land, cattle and goats, and are committed to serving their community with healthful and delicious foods from Certified Organic gardens, pastures, and Joraan’s Orchard. Prairie Horizons Farm is located approximately half way between Starbuck and Benson, MN. Prairie Horizons interns will be housed onsite at a remodeled historical farmhouse.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Between May 15 and June 3
Internship Ends: August 10
Number of Internship Available: 4
Application Deadline: March 25
Minimum Length of Stay: 10 weeks

Internship Details:

A multidisciplinary team of University of Minnesota faculty is in the process of developing an organic animal agriculture curriculum.  As part of this effort, we are offering up to four organic animal agriculture internships (paid at $15/hour, 40 hours/week) in summer 2024, with the goal of providing real-world experience for students interested in potential careers related to organic animal production.  We are seeking applicants currently enrolled in an undergraduate program (majoring in a subject such as agriculture, biology, environmental studies/science or similar) who have completed at least one year of coursework. We will begin reviewing applications on March 25, 2024.

Organic Animal Agriculture Interns can expect the following

  • Hands-on farm work
  • Field trips to organic/alternative production and/or processing facilities
  • Immersion into the world of organic production, which includes learning about systems of organic production within an ecological context
  • Interaction with organic farmers, researchers and fellow interns
  • Internship funding at $15/hour
    • Prairie Horizons placement will be from June 3-August 10 (10 weeks)
    • WCROC placement is for 10-12 weeks
  • 40-hours of work per week

General expectations:

  • Arrive on-time and prepared for the day’s work
  • Be ready to listen and learn and effectively incorporate constructive criticism
  • Engage fully in all hands-on work and meetings/discussions
  • Have a strong interest in organic animal agriculture
  • Pay attention to and follow personal safety and biosecurity protocols
  • Journal and reflect on the experience throughout the summer
  • Determine a focus area and based on work throughout the summer, prepare and deliver a presentation to instructors, WCROC researchers, and stakeholders in August

Physical requirements:

  • Able to lift and carry 50 pounds
  • Able to climb, squat, kneel, stoop, walk, push, pull, grip, dig, and perform other farm-related motions
  • Able to safely operate a motor vehicle
  • Able to stand or walk for extended time periods
  • Must wear close-toed shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirt


If you have questions about the application or positions, contact Dr. Ed Brands (


To apply, visit

Make sure to have a current resume and the names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of two references (one academic and one work supervisor).

You will also be asked to answer the following two questions:

  1. What does the term organic agriculture mean (how do you understand the term ‘organic’)?


  1. Please describe why you are interested in organic animal agriculture. Be sure to include any related life, educational, and/or work experiences.

Educational Opportunities: Learn about the operation of working organic farm and/or about a research organic farm

Skills Desired: Interest and ability to work are more important than specific skills

Meals: Yes-at Prairie Horizons Farm No (other than the occasional lunch)-at West Central Research and Outreach Center

Stipend: yes-$15/hour

Housing: For two placements at Prairie Horizons Farm, housing is provided Housing may be available for placements at West Central Research and Outreach Center

Preferred method of Contact: email