OUr staff and
Board of Directors
Curt & Susan Schauer | Founders
Susan Schauer: I grew up in Nebraska; in fact, where we live and where Heartland Youth Ranch is located was once my grandfather's farm. I have always had a love for horses. My first horse was a Shetland pony. I learned to ride bareback because we had no saddles. That little pony taught me a lot about riding and getting thrown off and getting back on in other words persistence and determination. I showed horses in 4-H and open shows through my high school and early adult life. I continue to enjoy riding and working with horses. They teach us so much about life, patience, trust and self-confidence. I gave my life to Christ my freshman year of high school after hearing and understanding the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. I have worked with youth being a 4-H leader for over 10 years. I also worked with the
youth in our church. I attended Bible college for two years and then nursing school. In 2009, I felt God was leading me into some type of ministry but was not sure what until I heard about Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch on a Focus on the Family broadcast. My daughter-in-law Jennifer and I attended the information clinic at CPYR in 2010 to learn how to start a similar ministry. We incorporated Heartland Youth Ranch in December 2010 and received our 501c3 status in July 2011. We have been serving children and their families since April 2011. It's exciting seeing what God is doing here and we are privileged that God is using us through this ministry.
Jennifer Schauer | Founder
I am a city-girl-turned-country who is still slightly afraid of horses, but I love helping behind the scenes at Heartland Youth Ranch. I was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. After graduating from Indiana Wesleyan University, I moved to Rapid City, SD; while visiting family in the Ord area, I met my future hubby (Jon) and in-laws (Curt and Sue). We live with our two kiddos two dogs, 5 cats, and 7 chickens outside of North Loup, NE. In 2010, I was fortunate to visit Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon with Sue, and completely fell in love with Sue's vision of creating a similar ministry in central Nebraska. I love working with families and children. I'm thrilled to be involved with HYR, and believe that HYR is a vital ministry for the Ord area. Kids need a place where they can go and be unconditionally loved and accepted. HYR is such a place, and I'm so blessed to be a part of it.
Kiley White | Board Member
I am married to my wife, Tresia almost 20 years. We have two sons in college, Christapher and Aaron. I am currently employed at the Grocery Kart in Ord, where I have been the manager for over 20 years. I have had many years of board experience as I have served on the local chamber as well as the library board among many others. I am also serving on our church board as well as the historical society. I became a part of Heartland Youth Ranch after being asked by Sue and thoughtfully praying for direction. I felt the position was an awesome opportunity to be able to work on, and see God's work through the work of Jennifer and Sue. Being on the board so far has been an uplifting and rewarding experience to be able to see all of the children and their families touched by the love and grace of God. Being a part of the Ord Christian Church and teaching the youth as a previous youth group leader and Sunday School teacher I felt that joining this board would be another step of helping youth and spreading God's love. This position is rearding and I feel that the joy from the youth has been tremendously uplifting to one and all involved.
Jim Craft | Board Member
I grew up in Nebraska until I was nine years old at which time the family moved to California. After high school I earned an AA degree in Police Science, then entered the Armed Service for three years. After being discharged I worked as a fingerprint specialist with the Dept of Justice, and furthered my education earning a BA degree in Criminal Justice. I spent thirty-two years in Law Enforcement before retiring. I have always been drawn to Nebraska and small areas; so, after our respective retirements, my wife, Sherian, and I moved to my hometown of North Loup. Involvement in the community has been a priority and through my friend Sue Schauer I became aware of her ministry, Heartland Youth Ranch. I was intrigued with the possibilities of working with the youth giving them an atmosphere of love, ethics and great values. Sue Schauer asked me to be a board member which after prayer and thought, I accepted. Because of Sue’s vision and Heartlands three years of growth I have seen personally God’s hand in the youth who
actively attend HYR. God willing the ranch will continue to grow physically and spiritually and I can experience young people’s growth in self worth, love and becoming citizens we all can be proud.
Janet Jones | Session Instructor
I was born in Burwell, Nebraska, and the oldest of three girls. My folks lived in ranch country on the Cedar River north of Ericson, Nebraska at that time. My mother was a horse lover, so we always had horses. I spent much of my time after school playing with our horses. After graduation from Burwell High School, I attended Kearney State College (now University of Lincoln-Kearney). I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. For 41 years I taught K-3 grade in rural schools in Garfield and Valley County. I retired from teaching in 2013. The summer of 2014 was when I began helping at HYR. Danny Jones and I were married in 1974. We had two girls who are married. They each had a girl then a boy, so I now have 4 awesome grandchildren.
Marilyn Winklebauer | Session Instructor
I grew up riding horses on my parent’s ranch. After attending high school in Bartlett, NE. I graduated from UNL with a Social Work degree. Over two years ago I retired after working as a Home Health/Hospice Social Worker. I am married with two children and 7 grandchildren. This will be my 3rd year volunteering at Heartland Youth Ranch.
Paula Lewis | Mentor
I was born and raised in rural Arcadia, NE, and currently live there with my cat, Fes. I earned a bachelor's degree in commercial art from the University of Nebraska in 1989, and in 2010, I received an associate degree in AutoCAD design from ITT in Omaha, Nebraska. In addition to volunteering at HYR, I volunteer at various Christian groups. I enjoy photography, taking part in Thesaureans writing group, and participating in Vissi d'Arte Art club.
LaTava Sanders | Session Instructor
My name is LaTava Sanders. I am originally from Alliance, NE. My grandparents had a ranch in Ellsworth, NE so growing up that is where I got all of my love and experience with horses. When I was younger our family enjoyed going to rodeos. I used to do barrels and pole racing. After graduating with a bachelors degree from Chadron State College I moved to Lincoln, NE. My husband Chris and I have been married for 15 years and we have three amazing sons. In August 2018 our family moved to Ord, NE for my husbands job. For the last year I have been volunteering out at the Heartland Youth Ranch and I love working with the kids and horses!
Christine thom | first intern at HYr
I was born and raised in Corvallis, OR. I grew up raising sheep and pigs in 4-H and always enjoyed riding horses when I had the opportunity. When my college plans changed directions due to Covid restrictions, I looked into opportunities to do an internship on a Christ-centered ranch. I hoped to start a similar ministry one day for foster teens, and I knew I had a lot to learn. I had always wanted to visit Nebraska, and the Lord provided for me to intern at HYR. It has been an abundant answer to prayer, and the Lord has grown and guided this time above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. It has been a joy to learn from the staff here and work with the kids and horses that the Lord brings to the Ranch.
Frequently Asked Questions...
Is HYR a religious organization?
The ranch is not associated with any particular religious congregation. However, HYR is a faith-based organization. The ranch is founded on the same Judeo-Christian values on which our nation was built. Faith on the ranch is "lived" not "preached" Because the founders and the Board of Directors believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, it is our greatest desire to serve God by demonstration our faith through action and by showing our love for Him in supporting families. It is our honor to serve children and families of all backgrounds.
What do you charge for a child to attend the program at HYR?
Our program is absolutely free of charge. The only requirement for children is that they have an open heart and want to attend.
Can we visit the ranch?
We would love to have you out to the ranch, even if it's just for a visit. We are open to the public by appointment only. Please feel free to call us at (308)-496-4348 to schedule a visit. Please see the map on the HOME page for our location.
How can I send my child to the ranch?
Part of HYR's focus is to bring families together. Because of this principal, we ask that parents accompany their child. A parents presence is quite often central to a child's healing process. Allowing fathers, mothers, and guardians a chance to rest and enjoy God's creation is also part of what we do. The ranch is NOT a residential facility, so out of town guests must find their own lodging. Please be aware that HYR offers a day program only and sessions must be scheduled ahead of time. Call (308)-496-4348 for information.
How can I donate to Heartland Youth Ranch?
At the bottom of each page there is a "Donate" button. You can donate through Paypal, credit or debit card, or a bank transfer.
Is my donation tax deductible?
YES! Heartland Youth Ranch is a non-profit 501c3. All donations are tax deductible.