Innovative Partnership Targets Exploding Mental Health Crisis
Ben’s Ranch Foundation, Inc. (BRF), a 501c3 charitable organization based in Carmel, today announced an exciting new partnership with Conner Prairie. Under the agreement, Conner Prairie will employ interns referred to them by Ben’s Ranch and host BRF’s first annual “Barn Bash” called Healing in the Heartland on October 3, 2021.
Ben’s Ranch Foundation arranges and supports paid, part-time internships at livestock farms, stables, and equine therapy facilities across Central Indiana for teens struggling with mental health issues. The internships harness the healing power of nature and animals and provide a sense of purpose. The Foundation hopes to expand its reach statewide.
“We are excited to partner with Conner Prairie to build on their impressive youth programming and to bring our entire family of supporters together there to celebrate the power of the outdoors and the farm experience,” said Ben’s Ranch Foundation Board Member Taylor Bennett.
“I can’t think of a better place to demonstrate the effectiveness of our intern model,” says BRF Founder Brose McVey. “The terms ‘experience’ and ‘education’ are lynch pins in both organizations and I could see this partnership growing to include other programs.”
Under the new arrangement, Conner Prairie will become the newest host-employer of Ben’s Ranch Foundation interns.
“We welcome the opportunity to serve our community and young neighbors by giving them roles within our dedicated team,” says Conner Prairie’s Tom Niswonger, Director of Facilities.
Conner Prairie cares for more than 100 farm animals, manages more than 1,000 wooded acres with fencing, barns and common areas and provides the public with opportunities to experience our area’s farm heritage and lifestyle.
The inaugural October 3rd event will serve as Ben’s Ranch Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser and provide a full day of activities and experiences for the entire family, including general admission to the museum, hot air balloon rides, live music, fun outdoor games and activities, and a buffet dinner.
“We want our annual gathering to reflect our mission, and for families to learn and have fun,” says Bennett.
About Ben’s Ranch Foundation
Ben’s Ranch Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in Central Indiana. The organization operates and supports programs designed to connect teens who have mental health challenges to jobs on farms and in stables and equine therapy facilities. Businessman Brose McVey founded the organization in honor of his late son, Ben, who suffered from mental illness before his unexpected death at 24-years-old. For more information, visit www.bensranch.org.
About Conner Prairie
Conner Prairie is the destination for living history, inviting guests to step into the story and actively experience the connection between today and yesterday. With more than 1,000 wooded acres on the White River, Conner Prairie offers education and adventure to more than 400,000 visitors of all ages each year. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate museum, Conner Prairie provides both outdoor interpretive encounters and indoor experiential learning spaces, melding history and art with science, technology, engineering and math. A 501(c)3, nonprofit organization, Conner Prairie is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and relies on grants and philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fuel its sustainability and growth. For more information, visit ConnerPrairie.org.