Cobblestone Ranch

Contact information
Farm Address:
9200 Shasta Blvd.

Los Molinos , California , 59752

Primary Contact: Monica Pless
Secondary Contact:

Primary Phone:

    Number: 505-820-2544

Secondary Phone





Internship information
General Farm Description: "The Cobblestone Ranch is a sheep and cattle operation based on private property and on federal wildlife refuge lands managed specifically for wildlife habitat. Breanna Owens runs approximately two hundred ewes (with expansion plans over the next few years to increase to five hundred ewes). She uses a rotational grazing strategy on the refuge with the overall goal of maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat and specific goals of reducing thatch, shrub and weed control, and stimulating new herbaceous growth. She moves the sheep one to two times a week, in paddocks ranging from one to five acres depending on seasonality and management objectives. Owens sells lambs as grass-fed and -finished either as feeder lambs to a direct marketer or as finished lambs to a regional processor. She plans on transitioning a portion of the flock to organic and selling through a regional CSA. <br><br> Cobblestone Ranch also has a cattle operation, in years past run on the home place and private leased ground in the winter and private lease and federal (USFS and BLM) land in the summer. This coming year however, Owens will winter cattle on refuge lands (with similar land management goals as above) and then on a private lease throughout the summer. She sells the majority of calves as weaners, although a handful are finished each year and direct-marketed. <br><br> Primarily through the use of grazing animals, Owens manages vegetation communities to enhance nutrient and hydro cycles. In California, a large portion of rangelands have a reduced perennial herbaceous component and degraded riparian systems. Through livestock management and other conservation actions, conditions that favor increased biodiversity throughout all layers of a landscape can be restored. <br><br> Bre purchased the Cobblestone Ranch property in 2014. Her goals for Cobblestone Ranch include increased productivity through enhanced nutrient and water cycling. Owens is currently updating and adding infrastructure to facilitate improved livestock management. Once installed, she will be able to utilize permanent and temporary fencing systems to manage livestock use to create better disturbance and rest regimes. She also has several more intensive projects, including installation of hedgerows with plans for riparian corridor restoration through both plantings and grazing management. These projects are intended to propel key areas of the ranch landscape to enhanced function quicker than through livestock management alone. "

CRAFT Member Farm? Yes

Internship Starts: 1/10/2018
Internship Ends: 11/3/2018
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: 12/1/2017
Minimum Length of Stay: 8 months

Internship Details:

“THE APPRENTICESHIP: <br>Owens envisions an apprentice assisting with all aspects of the ranch operation. As with any livestock operation, the position will require physical labor interspersed with seasonal, office and other tasks. As the apprentice learns the regular ranch duties and becomes comfortable with them, they can choose some responsibilities to take on as a regular part of the job, with continued guidance as needed.
Cobblestone ranch is fairly new with lots of potential for growth and possibilities for additional enterprises.<br><br>
1. Visual monitoring of pasture condition to determine grazing moves, helping set-up and take down temporary electric fence, moving livestock, hauling water<br>
2. Checking sheep and cattle on regular basis, assisting with lambing, doctoring, processing of sheep and cattle (vaccinating, docking, branding, tagging, etc.) <br>
3. Ranch infrastructure maintenance, repair, and installations – help with fencing, water troughs and lines, corrals and outbuildings.<br>
4. Assist with care of guard dogs and stock dogs (possible training opportunities with stock dogs)<br>
5. Assist with bookkeeping and maintaining ranch records
Assist with monitoring of soils, vegetation, and birds using Point Blue's Rangeland Monitoring Network protocols<br>
6. Assist with tree and shrub planting, seeding, installation of nest boxes and other conservation projects <br>
7. Ranch visits through Point Blue to other operations engaging in conservation work<br>
8. Attend rangeland/conservation related workshops, meetings, conferences (CRCC meetings/annual summit, SRM Cal-Pac, UCCE).<br>
9. Other ranch projects and ranch-related events as appropriate

Over the past fifteen years and continuing now, Owens has had the opportunity to learn about land and livestock management from numerous people in various locations. She wants to share what she has learned and provide an opportunity for others to learn along with her.
As Coordinator for the Rangeland Watershed Initiative Bre works at Point Blue Conservation with partner biologists who are assisting owners and operators of workinglands in implementing conservation practices designed to improve landscape function for the benefit of wildlife and ranch sustainability.
Bre grew up in Butte County where her family had a cow/calf ranch and opportunities abound to enjoy wide-open, productive ranch and timber lands that support an array of flora and fauna. She attended Chico State, completing a B.S. degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in Wildland/Range Science. She enjoys working with a team that recognizes the opportunities created by engaging diverse stakeholders in conservation efforts and that strive each day to realize the mutual goals of birders, ecologists, and ranchers.
TO APPLY:<br> Please read the full ranch and apprenticeship description at: and the description of the new Agrarian Program at <br>
Apply online at”

Educational Opportunities: "The New Agrarian Program complements hands-on education on the ranch with an educational webinar series offered through Holistic Management International focused on regenerative agriculture, and including topics such as soil ecology and biological monitoring, land management principles, business planning and financial management. Apprentices at all NAP locations will join in for a weekly, live webinar. In addition, NAP apprentices will attend a 2-day spring orientation and the annual 3-day Quivira Conference, held in Albuquerque, NM each November. <br><br> In addition to the conference, the apprentice may have opportunities to participate in Quivira Land & Water restoration workshops, and to visit other NAP apprenticeship locations. Apprentices are also required to write two reports during their apprenticeship; these reports will go through the NAP Coordinator at Quivira, and be posted on the Quivira website. "

Skills Desired: "Enthusiasm and a sincere commitment to regenerative agriculture and food production are important. Applicants with livestock experience are strongly preferred. Physical strength and stamina are required. <br><br> This apprenticeship requires physical, emotional, and mental stamina and resilience. Apprentice must be able to work long days outside doing often repetitive and physically strenuous work in a variety of weather conditions. Equally important is an ability to work closely with a small team with enthusiasm, energy, and an eagerness to learn. Apprentice will be expected to work independently from time to time and as her/his skills and experience increase. An exemplary work ethic and commitment to high quality work is a must."

Meals: "Food: The apprentice will receive partial board in the form of ranch products including beef, lamb, and eggs. Fresh veggies from the garden. Raw milk seasonally. "

Stipend: "Stipend: The monthly stipend is determined each year, based on available funding; it is typically around $800 take-home pay, paid at the end of each month. The position does not allow time for a second job, so apprentices should consider their budgetary needs before applying to this position. "

Housing: "Housing: The apprentice will be housed in a camper trailer on the ranch. Heat and water are included in housing. Housing can be provided only for apprentices. Spouses, significant others, and/or children cannot be accommodated on the ranch. Pets will be considered. "

Preferred method of Contact: "Questions via email, apply online at website"