Agriculture graduate student Clarissa Menefee is interning with Rocking R Whitetails, located in the hill country town of Mountain Home, through the month of August. Rocking R is a whitetail breeding operation specializing in breeding bucks that will be competitive in the deer industry. We reached out to her to learn more about her experience in this expanding niche of Texas agriculture.
Can you tell us about your role at Rocking R Whitetails?
Interns are responsible for feeding all the deer every day, tagging new fawns daily, counting and making sure all fawns are accounted for every day, and other odd jobs around the ranch. There are 175 does to fawn so we will have around 200 fawns by the end of this internship. We have had deer die, treated sick deer and fawns, learned how to shoot a dart gun, and many other things that pertain to the deer industry.
This internship has shown me a very different side of the agriculture industry. Texas is one of the largest deer producing states in the country; and, honestly, I had no idea until I took this internship. It is very different from what I am used to but it definitely opens your eyes to new opportunities in our field of agriculture.
What is your favorite aspect of this internship?
Probably the best part of this internship is getting to play with fawns! We have bottle babies we are responsible for that keep us very busy. They are the most fun yet time consuming part of our life on the ranch. Bottle babies have to be fed every 4 hours, which takes up a lot of your day, but they are so cute it helps you wake up when you have to feed them at 7am every day.
How did you learn about the internship?
I learned about this internship from one of my friends who had applied for this job. She told me that they were looking for another person with agriculture experience. I applied and we both got the job. Honestly, I wasn’t even planning on having an internship this summer but I just took the chance and applied. It has been a very challenging and exciting experience so far. It is definitely a good way to try out a different field of agriculture you are not familiar with.
Nathan and Christy Ross (the owners) are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. They are so nice and always very helpful. They are always there to help and teach us everything there is to know about the deer industry.