The TomKat Ranch Regenerative Food Systems Internship is a paid opportunity for Stanford students to live and work full-time for 10 weeks (up to 60 hours per week) at TomKat Ranch (Pescadero, CA) in support of their mission to grow regenerative food systems in California and beyond.
TomKat Ranch (TKR) is an 1,800-acre working grass-fed cattle ranch and learning laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area with a mission to provide healthy food on working lands in a way that regenerates the planet and inspires others to action. The team of ranchers, scientists, and advocates work and collaborate to research regenerative agricultural practices that improve ecosystem services--soil health, climate stability, water quality and availability, animal welfare, human health, economic prosperity, and biodiversity. TKR’s long-term goal is to inspire the transition of 1 million acres of California rangeland to regenerative management and help grow a regenerative food system across the United States.
TKR has three initiatives that leverage its land-based learning laboratory, unique partner ecosystem, and convening capabilities to accomplish its goal. Interns receive training from and work on projects across all three initiatives.
Regenerative Ranching: TKR demonstrates the practices and benefits of regenerative rangeland management and supports technologies and tools that speed its adoption. Through science-based monitoring and experimentation, the ranch is learning how carefully managed rangelands can produce healthy food while also providing habitat for wildlife and pollinators, preserve scenic open space, filter and hold rainwater, and house a diversity of plant and microbial communities that can transform soils into stable sinks for greenhouse gases.
Fork to Farm: Through partnerships and targeted philanthropy, TKR works to catalyze and grow a dynamic marketplace for regenerative food. This includes testing and promoting third-party certifications, innovating solutions to overcome producer bottlenecks, and developing new and lucrative markets with large institutional buyers like schools and hospitals. As part of our goal to inspire 1 M California rangelands to be managed regeneratively, we collaborate with other ranches to build and meet the demand of regenerative products.
Gathering for Action: TKR brings people together for meaningful conversations and impactful training that help grow a regenerative food system. The ranch hosts and facilitates food-focused gatherings to connect and empower entrepreneurs, scientists, non-profit organizations, regulators, consumers, and land managers. TKR also helps train the next generation of regenerative food system professionals by conducting workshops and providing paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities for urban and rural applicants looking to enter the field.
The TomKat Ranch Regenerative Food Systems Intern receives a base stipend of $6000 to cover the essential costs associated with a summer service experience. Housing is included and interns are strongly encouraged to live on the ranch. Financial aid is available to students who qualify. Priority will be given to students who have some ranching or farming experience and/or who are enrolled in graduate-level work in a related field.
Visit this page for information on previous fellows and their projects.
This fellowship is a partnership between the Haas Center for Public Service, the Stanford Educational Farm Program, and TomKat Ranch. Fellowship funding is generously provided by TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation.
For complete eligibility requirements, please review our program policies in its entirety.
Currently enrolled first-years, sophomores, and juniors from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply, and applicants may vary in academic interests, public service involvement, and experience. Priority will be given to students who have some ranching or farming experience and/or who are enrolled in graduate-level work in a related field. Priority will also be given to students who have completed fewer than two previous Cardinal Quarter opportunities. Graduating seniors will have lower priority. Students who have begun their coterm programs are not eligible to apply.
TomKat Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Interns are required to work at least 35 hours (up to 60 hours) per week for at least ten consecutive weeks. Additional time may be negotiated. Interns must have a valid driver's license. Please review the complete program policies for additional requirements. Other commitments include the following:
- Complete the online program orientation.
- Attend the Engaging in Ethical and Effective Service workshop or worksheet.
- Meet with Patrick Archie, Stanford's Farm Educator and Lecturer in the School of Earth Sciences, who will serve as academic mentor mentor, at least once.
- Design a personal learning plan for the summer and share the plan with community partner and academic mentor.
- Submit a brief preliminary report.
- Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.
- Meet with Patrick Archie, the faculty mentor, at least once.
- Attend a de-briefing meeting for the purpose of reflecting upon and evaluating summer projects.
- Participate in outreach activities to share your experiences and help publicize the program.
For those who seek assistance, advising is offered through the Haas Center to help students develop their applications.
This fellowship is intended for individuals whose application, references, and interview demonstrate
- an integration of the fellowship experience with applicant’s academic, personal and/or career goals
- prior demonstrated interest or involvement in the subject area, including related coursework
- a compelling match between applicant’s skills and interests and an organization’s work and needs
- a strong potential for the fellowship experience to enlarge a candidate’s understanding of an identified sustainability issue, problem or challenge
Complete applications are screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by a committee with the intention to award fellowships prior to spring break. Applicants should respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to a fellowship offer, or the offer will be rescinded. Once an applicant accepts a fellowship offer, the student should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and to withdraw their candidacy.