BRF offers small group programs for teens 14 to 18 years of age who live in Central Indiana and have been diagnosed with a mental or emotional health condition and who are physically capable of performing farm chores. These programs are not designed for youth with complex conditions requiring staff with special training.

BRF Small Group Programs Are Designed to:

  • Improve the emotional and mental health of participants by exposing them to stimulating and engaging experiences, interaction with animals, growing plants, physical labor outdoors, and teamwork.
  • Separate teens from sources of stress, reduce isolation, and work with adults and peers.
  • Prepare youth for future paid employment through instruction on developing good work habits, accountability, problem-solving and communication skills.
  • Introduce youth to potential career opportunities and school coursework such as Career and Technical Education (CTE) in agriculture.
  • Expose participants to extra-curriculum activities such as 4-H and FFA.
  • Generate credit, where possible, toward career pathways and work- and project-based learning coursework at school.
  • Improve readiness for paid internships on local farms and at stables, nurseries, and other agricultural settings.

Each 3-hour small group session includes instruction on common aspects of farm work, handling and raising livestock, growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and soft-skill development.

Small group programs may vary in schedule, content or format based on the host site, time of year, age of participants and location. The standard small group program includes six sessions lasting three hours each, held at various host sites on Saturday or weekday mornings.

The cost to participate in a BRF small group program is $300.00, paid in advance. A discount or a waiver of fees is available to applicants based on household income. Youth participants must have transportation to and from the host site.

For more information about Ben’s Ranch Foundation’s Small Group Program, contact us at [email protected] or complete an application. 

Upcoming Small Group Programs

  • Saturday mornings, September 23 – October 28. 9 AM – Noon.  Carmel Equestrian Center, 11801 River Road in Carmel.
  • After school, September 25 – 29. This one-week, five-day group is scheduled at Children’s TherAplay, 9919 Towne Road, Carmel.  This session runs from 4:30-6:30 PM each day after school.