History of the Ranch
The ranch is a culmination of both of our dreams. Patty always wanted to live on the beautiful Niagara escarpment that wandered through property that her parents bought in the late 1960's. David's Grandfather instilled in him at a very young age a love for animals. We both have excellent work ethics and as educators a keen interest in learning. So, in 1993 we purchased from Patty's parents 28 acres of land overlooking the Green Bay area and embarked on developing the ranch.
The first winter we purchased our first llama, Phyllis, and our first horse, Stormy. We built the barn and the bunkhouse which served as our cottage each day as we visited the ranch for feeding time. By 1994, we had seven llamas, including our first baby, three horses and we bought our first emus. By 1995, we were incubating emu eggs (talk about a learning experience) and Stormy gave birth to our first baby horse, Magnificent Morning (Maggie).
In 1996, we built the house and began working on the landscaping, gardens and fencing. Once we moved into our house, everyone asked what we were going to do with the bunkhouse. By the end of next year, David left his position in education administration to use his Certified Financial Planning credentials full-time. The bunkhouse became his office. His clients enjoyed coming to the ranch to discuss their financial future.
In 1999, we built the second barn to have a place to store hay and other equipment that we had acquired throughout the years to help with the ranch work. In the center of this barn is the tack room which offers a great place for get-togethers of all kinds. Outside is the hitching post, a place where horses get groomed and harnessed or saddled for a ride on the trails. The nearby campfire pit allows for sing-alongs, story-telling or just good conversation.
In January 2002, Patty left her job in education administration. We expanded the bunkhouse loft for her office. She has developed NEXT…LLC, a Career and Lifestyle Change company which will complement David's financial planning business. The ranch provides a setting conducive to life planning and decision-making.
In October 2003 we piloted are first Teambuilding and Leadership workshop with Tosca Team Leaders. It was a great success. The horses and llamas are great teachers about nonverbal communication, trust, respect and change. In the spring of 2004, we welcomed Green Bay Cheese Company as particpants in our unique program. They too very much enjoyed the experience and learned from the animals and the facilitators, Patty and David.
We now have eighteen llamas, nine horses, and five emus. Many people comment to us about how much work the ranch is. We enjoy the challenge! All the animals have their own personality and are fun and therapeutic to be around. We have learned so much about them and from them. At the end of the day as we sit on our deck watching the sun go down over the barns and paddocks, we count our blessings.