Sunrise Ranch is now accepting applications for the 2015
Farm & Garden 7-Month Internship Program!



Sunrise Ranch is located on a beautiful 360 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.
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We practice holistic agriculture management 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.
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In the past, Farm/Garden interns at Sunrise Ranch have taken care of all kinds of animals—goats, cows, pigs, and chickens, to name a few. But if you've ever fantasized about tending to sheep on a grassy hill, here's your chance to become a shepherd. Sunrise Ranch will have sheep this year!
For periods of a week or longer, this season's Farm/Garden interns will get the rare opportunity to camp out under the stars with a flock of ewes. All camping gear will be provided, and a guard llama will accompany the shepherd as the sheep graze the hills around Sunrise Ranch.
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We host an entire farm-to-table curriculum, which includes our farm and garden program and a culinary program skilled at creating delicious gourmet meals that cater to all types of specialty diets. Sunrise Ranch is one of the oldest intentional spiritual communities in the country as well as a conscious retreat and conference center, so there are many fun activities and
opportunities for community interaction available.

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We offer a work/trade agreement that includes housing, internet, laundry facilities, healthy meals and a $250/month stipend during the 7-month growing and harvest season—no experience required. While learning trade skills and performing fulfilling work, you will enjoy gorgeous natural landscapes every day with mountain hiking only a few minutes’ walk away, and close proximity
to the cities of Fort Collins, Boulder, Estes Park and Loveland.
rim-rock-header     elk herd at Sunrise Ranch
     This program is designed to give participants the full experience of living in an intentional community and 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.
Apply Now
Email application to 

You can heal all the world's problems in a garden!

  • The Farm & Garden Program continues to build on a legacy of sustainability, organic farming and land stewardship that Sunrise Ranch has been proud of since 1945.  

  • One of the first actions taken after the purchase of our land was the building of the soil in our garden. The first gardeners imported carbonaceous material, in the form of straw and horse manure, and set the precedent in our land-stewardship practices of building health instead of battling disease.

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Integrated Holistic Agriculture

  • 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. 

  • Don’t like the way our modern industrial food system works? With the Farm/Garden Internship at Sunrise Ranch, anyone can have a chance to be involved in a more holistic paradigm!

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Mature thoroughly rather than labor thoughtlessly

  • 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 the 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 — Nov 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.
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Duties Vary

  • • Assist our Garden Manager in our production garden and greenhouses
  • • 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
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Program dates: April 6 — Nov 2, 2015


Michael Costello

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.

Director of Operations

Derik Lane

Growing up in the Chicago area; Derik 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.

Garden Manager

Philosophy at 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.

Emissaries of Divine Light


Program dates: April 6 — Nov 2, 2015