New programs abound at the Wolfe Ranch

Riding lessons with boys and girls camps featured

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Adam Koester of Quakerdale’s Wolfe Ranch stands at the entrance to one of the facility’s buildings recently. Koester is manager of the multi-acre complex, which offers a number of Christian-based activities for individuals and families.

Giving God credit would seem like a minister’s natural response when good things happen.

But for Rev. Adam Koester, executive director of Quakerdale’s Wolfe Ranch, giving credit to God is justified.

“We are having fun, God is doing a lot,” Koester said in a recent interview with the Times-Republican. “God is laying it out for us.”

Koester was referencing a number of important donations and staffing needs in his eyes The Almighty has provided the ranch recently.

He cited the recent hiring of Ranch Manager David Smith and employee Al Shibe as God’s work in action.

Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale, for years a familiar landmark on Highway 30 east of Marshalltown, has been in transition, and is now prepared to offer Central Iowans a bevy of new services fitting the rustic, multi-acre facility.

The former home for troubled boys now offers:

* Long-term stall boarding.

* Long-term pasture boarding.

* Quick boarding of horses.

* Training of horses.

* Riding lessons.

* Equine education lessons.

While those services are self-explanatory, Koester said Quakerdale Ranch will be offering a “Cowboy Camp” for boys and a “My Pretty Pony Camp” for girls.

Koester, whose enthusiasm is contagious, said even more is in the planning stages.

Included is a 8-week course for home-schooled children on the care of horses, a blacksmith course taught fittingly by a an area blacksmith, and a “tiny house on wheels” construction course and archery

“The ‘tiny house on wheels’ is targeted to high-school aged youth, to teach them construction trades,” he said. “Clearly, one can make a good living as a tradesman … not everyone wants to go to college.”

Also included is a course for youth on gardening.

“We will show youth how to grow and care for a garden, a ‘farm to table exercise.’ “

Importantly, all is available to the public.

Koester further emphasized Wolfe Ranch is non-denominational.

“Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale is Christian,” he said. “But our services and facilities are open to people of all faiths. While there will not be a Christian lesson in every riding lesson we give, we are, and will remain, a safe, family-friendly Christian-based facility.”

Koester has been with Quakerdale more than five years, previously working as its Chief Financial Officer.

On Jan.1, he officially became Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale Executive Director.

The latter position the result of a significant re-organization managed by staff and its volunteer board of directors.

“On Jan. 1, Quakerdale officially split into seven different not-for-profit organizations,” said Koester. “Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale is one. Additionally, there is the Quakerdale Foundation, managed by long-time Quakerdale Chief Executive Officer Rod Talbot, and the Quakerdale Promise Academy.”

The Promise Academy is also managed by Koester.

Quakerdale was originally founded by leaders of The Annual Meeting of Friends, or Quakers.

It remains headquartered in New Providence.

Koester is married to Patty Koester, and the couple have two children, Grace, 5, and Sadie, 1.

Patty is also busy.

She has embarked on a home-based bakery business venture, Patty’s Pastries.

Not only is Adam Koester Wolfe Ranch and Promise Academy’s executive director, he is also pastor at Zearing Christian Church.

Like Wolfe Ranch and Promise Academy, Adam Koester is excited about his role as pastor.

“It is fun, the church is growing,” he said. “My philosophy is this: ‘How can I serve you? I am an organizer, I view opportunities as, ‘how can we grow together?’ “

For more information on Wolfe Ranch or programming, contact 641-752-6446, or adam@wolferanchofquakerdale.org. News, updates, and more can also be found on Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale’s Facebook page.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com.