This summer, Cadet William Remshardt ’24 is making big moo-ves. Through an internship at the A Bar C Ranch in Hyannis, Nebraska, May 23-June 15, he has received hands-on ranching experience through tasks such as branding calves, moving cows, fertility testing bulls, checking pregnant heifers and even repairing a windmill and a fence. The ranch is owned by fifth-generation rancher, MMA graduate and board of trustee member Chris Gentry ’88.
“Will has been a great help to us,” Gentry says. “He is a very good kid, a hard worker, takes instructions well and is inquisitive and polite. I have learned a lot by having him here.”
Remshardt is from Sherman, Texas, where he has previous experience working on a ranch. But he says each day at the A Bar C Ranch was unique.
“I would wake up early in the morning to go push cows to summer range,” Remshardt says. “Then we would go fencing for the rest of the day. Some days we might be semen testing bulls and others we might be repairing a fence in a creek. Every day is different and special.” He says he’s also learned about wells, animal vaccinations and how to wrestle calves.
Remshardt was connected to Gentry through MMA instructor Chris Schafer ’89. Back in 1988, Gentry and Shafer were roommates in the old Delta Company. As active alumni, Gentry and Schafer have remained close. Remshardt shared his interest of ranching to Schafer, who then connected him to Gentry. After a Zoom interview where Cadet Remshardt asked insightful, formal questions about cattle ranching, they all decided an internship would be a great fit for him.
Gentry is an expert in cattle ranching, and his ranch has deep family history.
“The A Bar C Ranch was started in 1887 by my great-great-grandfather Christopher Abbott,” Gentry says. “I am the fifth generation to call her home. The ranch has expanded quite a bit through years. We are currently a cow-calf producer and certified all-natural yearling stocker, raising mostly Angus with a Hereford cross.”
Gentry is also president of Gentry Land Co., which was started by his father, Bob, and his grandfather Raymond around 1967. They took the land, put it into a corporation and formed a partnership. Gentry Land Co. is part of the current A Bar C Ranch and owns about half of the land.
With Gentry’s expertise, Remshardt has learned valuable information about the business of owning and operating a ranch. Gentry explained business situations such as accounting, marketing and investments, which are important in helping fund and maintain the enterprise.
“Through this internship, I have gained knowledge of ranching in the Midwest,” Remshardt says. “I also learned some of the financial side of things. I learned how to keep a ranch profitable.”
Remshardt says the most challenging aspect of the internship was learning a new way of doing things. Yet through active listening and following directions, he grasped tasks quickly. He will be able connect lessons such as time management, following directions and teamwork to his life at the Academy.
“Being an alumnus, I tried to help him understand how valuable the lessons of the Academy are and how they will help him in his future,” Gentry says. “Self-discipline, honor, integrity and truth are things, once learned, can never be taken from you.”
Remshardt says the internship has impacted his future career goals. “It [the internship] has given me new connections and experiences,” he says. “It has taught me things I didn’t know beforehand. It has given me the drive to continue in this career and be a valuable worker.”
For Remshardt, the future is bright.
“Whether he continues ranching in his future or not, I think he will never forget his time and lessons here,” Gentry says.
Remshardt says the internship gave him the drive to keep working in the field of ranching. This fall, Remshardt will continue to supplement his MMA education by assisting with calving at Sydenstricker Genetics in Mexico, Missouri.