Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Impressions from a Friend of THE FARM

Gary S. of Eden Prairie, MN is a long time friend of mine and also a long time Friend of THE FARM. In fact, Gary was present on the day that Ono and Sweet Lady Grey finally arrived home to Spring Valley from their boarding farm in Omaha, Nebraska way back in 1993. Gary knew Jerry, Jimmer, Ono, Lassie, and all of the original foundation creatures. So yes, there is history here.

Saturday, January 31st, was the Annual State of THE FARM for Refuge Farms. We reviewed the events and highlights as well as the numbers of 2008. And we set the goals and pinnacles for 2009. It was a great meeting and I am greatly encouraged by and appreciative of the wealth of talent and dedication in the room that day.

Gary attended the Annual State of THE FARM and participated with the rest of us. I have asked him, as a bit of an outsider, to record his observations and thoughts of the Annual State of THE FARM in a blog for all of us to enjoy. What follows is his message:


Thank you so much for the invitation to attend the Annual State of THE FARM meeting. You have wonderful, dedicated people involved with the missions of Refuge Farms. Looking around the room, I witnessed a mixture of strength, hope and excitement.

As you know, I have been and continue to be involved with a number of civic and non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations. I get the opportunity to attend a wide variety of meetings. This meeting was different. It had an intimate feel to it, if that makes any sense. It was a great idea having everyone sit in a circle versus the speaker/audience venue. More ideas and a greater willingness to share stories seemed to spring forth from this setting. I shed a few tears over the passionate stories.

Your volunteers who are so committed is what Refuge Farms is all about. Seeing a group of people with extraordinary talents covering such a wide variety of different areas, all of them working towards a common committed goal, was remarkable.

It was great when we arrived back at THE FARM. Tracy and Gloria had just returned after dropping off one of the rescued horses. I saw Gloria’s big smile and her thumbs up indicating she was successful on her first mission and ready for more. WOW!

Yes, those of us who work and volunteer with non-profit organizations will have difficult times ahead due to wide variety of issues that our country and local communities are facing. However, with the support of volunteers who are resilient and creative, we will find new and innovative ways to approach these challenges and persevere, having in place much stronger organizations as we move ahead.

“We are going to need to balance the passion and compassion that draws us to this work, with the competence, experience and expertise, and sheer hard work that we'll need to steer this ship out of the troubled waters,” was stated in a speech last month by Richard Male, a consultant that works with the non-profit sector. This reminds me of Refuge Farms.

Once again, thanks for sharing and allowing me the opportunity to be part of this much needed and passionate organization you have in Spring Valley.

Sandy, as I have heard you say so many times, “Enjoy the journey of each and every day.”


P.S. I thought you might enjoy adding this picture of one of my favorite pastimes - fishing for "the big one" up in Canada. I frequent the same lodge just about every year and thoroughly enjoy my time on the water. It is a time to relax, fish, and eat shore lunch. What more could a guy ask for?

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?