The Farm at Sunrise Ranch: Fresh Vegetables, Grassfed Beef, Permaculture design certification

Farm and Garden Internship

Farm and Garden Internship is now a part of the Full Self Emergence Internship.

For more information on FSE, Click Here

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Located on 360 beautiful acres in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, we have maintained a legacy of sustainability, organic farming and land stewardship since 1945. We implement bio-intensive and permaculture principles in our organic vegetable and herb gardens, as well as our fruit orchard, which produces apples, pears, apricots, cherries, peaches and plums.

Holistic agriculture management is practiced on our diverse multi-species farm, with grass-fed cattle, pastured chickens, ducks, geese and wild turkeys. We teach animal husbandry, pasture and livestock management, rotational and mob grazing, coordinated irrigation techniques, water treatment and processing, green architecture and general sustainability practices.

Sunrise Ranch hosts an entire farm-to-table curriculum, which includes our farm and garden program as well as a culinary program that creates delicious gourmet meals that cater to all types of specialty diets. We are a thriving intentional community which also provides a conscious retreat and conference center. There are always activities and opportunities for interaction available, including a 3-day conscious music festival held here every August: Arise Music Festival.

We offer a work/trade agreement that includes housing, Internet, laundry facilities, gourmet meals, and a $250/month stipend for periods of stay ranging from one month to the entire growing and harvest season—no experience required. While learning trade skills and performing fulfilling work, you will enjoy gorgeous natural landscapes every day, mountain hiking only a few minutes’ walk away, and close proximity to the cities of Loveland, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Estes Park.

This program is designed to give participants the full experience of living in an intentional community, among people who share a passion for integrating their lives with the ecology in which they dwell. Participants will learn the skills and principles that allow a community and its immediate landscape to thrive and sustain itself.


Spend time assisting our garden manager in our production garden. Derik Lane sold fresh organically raised produce at farmers’ markets and to local businesses. As the Garden Manager at Sunrise Ranch, Derik is eager for the opportunity to teach the lessons he learned from growing organic produce, as well as to learn from others’ experiences.


We are incredibly honored to be able to offer training and experience in ranch work based on the principles of Holistic Management, rotational grazing, and rejuvenating the land on which we live and work. If you are unfamiliar with Holistic Management, the videos linked below are a great primer for what we do and why we do it.

Don’t like the way our modern industrial food system works? With the Farm internship and Sunrise Ranch, anyone can have a chance to…

…be a part of this change!


Permaculture is a holistic interpretation of humanity’s integration with its ecosystems, as well as a design science used to optimize the health of individuals, communities, our watersheds and species that live around us. According to Bill Mollison (co-founder of permaculture), it is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. Permaculture is the harmonious integration of landscape and people, providing their food, energy, shelter and other needs in a sustainable way. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions. Permaculture is a global movement that is providing solutions to many of the world’s social, economic and ecological problems.

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Internship Details

Program dates are April 6 — November 2, 2015. The weekly work commitment is 40-50 hours, including community operations, two dish shifts per week, and rotated weekend chores. In addition to the weekly work commitment, there are 4-6 hours of class time per week. Compensation includes room and board and a $250 stipend for every 30 days of service—no experience required. We are looking for the full 7 month commitment. If you leave mid month, you will not receive a stipend. A deposit of $150 for credit and services is required upon acceptance. The $150 for credit and services will be refunded (less any amounts owed Emissaries of Divine Light) within 60 days of the residency termination at Sunrise Ranch.  Background check will be conducted upon applicant’s approval.

Participants must be physically able to work outdoors all season (there is comfortable living in dormitory-style housing, sharing bedrooms, common areas, and bathrooms) and willing to be flexible to work where needed. Animals are not accepted.

Overview (Duties vary)

    • Assist our Garden Manager in our production garden
    • Work in our pastures and with our livestock
    • Daily participation in “pipe change” and other pasture-related tasks
    • Annual livestock harvests and “processing parties”
    • Marketing and selling Sunrise Ranch’s All-Natural Grass-fed Beef, which includes helping at Farmers’ Markets
    • Field trips and classes being held at Sunrise Ranch
    • Kitchen duties, landscaping, maintenance when community needs prevail
    • Opportunities to integrate with the spiritual life here at Sunrise Ranch (Wednesday evening and Sunday morning services)
    • Enrich your experience at Sunrise Ranch with the once-a-week Sunrise Community Core Power Sessions
    • Interested participants may request to take on leadership responsibilities in a specific area of contribution
    • Animals not allowed
    • Health insurance not mandatory

Executive Director: Michael Costello

Michael Costello is the Director of Operations and Internships, as well as a member of the Executive Group for Sunrise Ranch. Michael has been a Chef at various restaurants throughout the United States and is the former Chef at Sunrise Ranch. Mr. Costello is the catalyst in creating the farm-to-table Culinary Academy and initiating partnerships with local farms. Personal interests include birdwatching, sustainable agriculture and buildings, hiking, sacred chanting and playing music.

Garden Manager: Derik Lane

Derik Lane grew up in the Chicago area; he has lived in Iowa, Florida, and Niagara Falls, New York. He has always been interested in health and health issues. In the mid 1990s, with the advent and expansion of GMO food sources, he became a label reader and began his quest to become a producer of organic produce. The organic ball started rolling with Derik purchasing items from local organic farms and practicing food preservation. In 2009, he began his own business in market gardening by leasing 1.5 acres. For 2 years he sold fresh organically raised produce at farmers’ markets and to local businesses. As Garden Manager at Sunrise Ranch, he is eager for the opportunity to teach the lessons he learned, as well as learn from others’ experiences, and expand his knowledge of producing organic produce.

Philosophy of Sunrise Ranch

Sunrise Ranch honors Universal Being in all its forms—through people, through nature and through all creation. We see this attitude of honor for Universal Being as the pivotal factor for the future of humanity. Click here to see the complete philosophy of Sunrise Ranch.

Applying To The Program


Email the completed application to Internship Registrar Keahi Ewa at Internships@sunriseranch.org

Upon review of your application, you will be contacted with further information and next steps.

If this opportunity does not fit your specific interests please email us your resume and we will contact you to explore other possibilities.

Additional Contact Information:
Cory Castaneda
Email: Internships@sunriseranch.org

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