News & Events


Watch Our Videos About Life on the Ranch

Thank You to Field Guide Films!   Over the years Chris Hatcher of Field Guide Films became interested in all that we are doing at DHR, came out for a visit, and interviewed eight of our Ranchers with Down syndrome, autism, and other disabilities.  They shared their stories of independence, and how they live and work on our 400 acre ranch outside of Elgin, TX.

Chris has produced quite a few videos about Down Home Ranch. Here are some we know you’ll enjoy!

400 Acres, Produced by Chris Hatcher and Andrew Eaton of Field Guide Films, February, 2016
Housewarming, March, 2016
DHR 2015 – A Parent’s Perspective, April, 2015
The Best Day of My Life, February, 2015
DHR: A Community of Opportunity, October, 2014
DHR – 20 Years of Thanks, April, 2011

Other films made about the Ranch:

KXAN’s Down Home Ranch Residents Enjoy Special Gift, 8/9/2015
TWC s 2013 12 Days of Giving Series, 12/13/2013
Assignment America, 6/8/07: Steve Hartman, The Vacation of a Lifetime
News 8 Austin, 12/21/10: Poinsettias Supply Down Home Ranchers with Holiday Spirit

Other news:

Down Home Ranch, 4/20/2012: Higgins unHinged blog author is a very special, very long-time friend of Jerry and Judy.
My New Home Town, 3/21/2012: bean&noodle blog author lovingly describes her recent visit to Down Home Ranch, shares pictures and a video.
Advancing Down Syndrome Research, 3/21/2012: Texas’ Former First Lady, Anita Perry, gives a nod to Down Home Ranch.
Checking in at the Chicken Hilton: This is a reprint of an article, written by Judy Horton, that appeared on page 72 of the February/March 2011 issue of Backyard PoultryAustin Statesman, 10/16/10: ‘Texas Chainsaw Manicure’ benefits Down Home Ranch
High Plains Observer, 10/16/08: DHR Earns National Recognition for Wildfire Preparedness
Wall Street Journal, “New Attack on Alzheimer’s”
Originally Published in the Dallas Star-Telegram, 12/3/06: Kelly’s Gift
People Magazine, 5/21/07: Heroes Among Us – Home on the Range
People Magazine, 5/21/07: Heroes Among Us – Home on the Range (with extra photos)
Down Home Ranch: A Place Where People of All Abilities Can Be Ranchers, Madison House Autism Foundation Blog, January, 2016

DHR’s Latest Newsletter

Read the Latest Newsletter

Read Previous DHR Newsletters

We’re excited to share all the lastest news about Down Home Ranch.

Headlines from a recent edition of the Spirit Newsletter:

  • Thank You for Your Continued Support
  • Many thanks to all our volunteers who bring generous hearts, hard work, lots of energy, and lasting friendships. We could never, ever have turned a dream into reality without them.
  • 2016 Calendar of Events
  • Make No Small Plans: History of Down Home Ranch, progress in 2015, and plans for the future
  • The Ladies of Martha House: Meet Elizabeth Arnold, DHR’s Program Director
  • A Home of His Own: DHR takes delivery of one of several micro-houses
  • Developing DHR’s Emergency Response Plan
  • Updates on Research on Down Syndrome
  • Ranchers Attend Classes at UT-Austin
  • Prince of Pasture: Jerry meets Joel Salatin, a leader in producing pasture-fed meats
  • We pay tribute to a dear friend and husband of a long-time DHR board member
  • Down Home Ranch offers a wonderful lifestyle to our Ranchers and their families, but organizations like ours are coming under threat from regulatory policies. Find out why in the Spirit Newsletter and how you can help support freedom of choice for people with intellectual disabilities. To learn more, visit Coalition for Community Choice.
  • Special Olympics World Games: Working toward making our mark on the world stage
  • Listing of DHR’s Board of Directors, Administration and Staff

DHR Is In the News!

Many thanks to Desiree Kameka, Director of Community Education & Advocacy at Madison House Autism Foundation for taking the time to spend a day with all of us at Down Home Ranch. She has written a thoughtful essay, (Down Home Ranch: A Place Where People of All Abilities Can Be Ranchers, Madison House Autism Foundation Blog, January, 2016) including lots of photos and one of our videos, about how 50 people with and without disabilities live at Down Home…demonstrating that they have more of a social life than many who live in cities with lots of people and few meaningful relationships.

Ms. Kameka makes a strong case for advocating for the importance of offering a range of housing choices for adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them the right to choose where to live and with whom to live — and not to have government officials or disability advocates make decisions for individual families.

She closes by saying, “Since visiting Down Home Ranch, I have visited at least 20 similar ranching/agricultural communities across the country. Those with autism or I/DD choose to call these farms and ranches home. They are places where their daily work is valued, where meaningful relationships have blossomed, and where they are integrated into their rural community. Their choice of home and community is ‘different, not less than’ and should be respected and supported.”

To learn more about offering adults with I/DD’s a full range of housing and employment options, we invite you to visit The Coalition for Community Choice.

Down Home Ranch Residents Enjoy Special Gift, KXAN, 8/9/2015

Many thanks to KXAN for a wonderful article and accompanying video describing the special life at DHR through the variety of residential, vocational, and recreational programs offered at the Ranch. The article also described how the Ranchers are stepping up their fitness programs with the generous donation of quality exercise equipment from Concordia University.

Want to learn more about DHR? We invite you to watch the KXAN video, read more about life on the Ranch or, better yet, check out our Upcoming Events Listing at the top of this page and join us at the Ranch!

Local Wonders Series: Down Home Ranch – A Haven for the Intellectually Disabled, TWC News Staff, 12/4/2014

newsevents-twc-local-wonders-2014

Many thanks to TWC’s Your News Now for including Down Home Ranch in the Local Wonders series. The video features Jerry Horton giving a short history of how DHR has grown to become a community of opportunity, where DHR Ranchers “learn things and master things and take pride in their work and in their lives.”

Down Home Ranch Poinsettias Spread Christmas Cheer, Elgin Courier, 12/2/2014

newsevents-courier-poinsettias-2014

Many thanks to the Elgin Courier for carrying a wonderful story about our poinsettias and how DHR Ranchers, our customers, and community volunteers help DHR grow, package, and deliver more than 12,000 poinsettias each year.

Learn more about DHR’s poinsettias and how you can help us deliver our poinsettias this fall through our volunteer program.

DHR’s Latest Reflections

Reflections:  September 2014

By 1991, Fr. Nouwen had been living at the Daybreak L’Arche Community outside of Toronto for several years. No one would have predicted this brilliant scholar would spend the last years of his life as care-giver to one of their most helpless residents and being a pastor in a community for people with intellectual handicaps.

Nouwen himself was notoriously inept at the little chores of everyday life, forgetting to close the shower curtain and flooding the bathroom, or missing swaths of whiskers during his morning shave. He had lived, after all, a life of the mind. Read more of Heaven Is Like… >>

Image: Down Home Ranch Swim Fest 2014 Swim Fest

Ranch Events

Swim Fest is our annual  fundraiser where Ranchers form swim teams to raise money for their winter cruise and other quality of life issues.  It’s low-key and casual: eat, rest, swim, repeat.  The Ranchers train hard for it though, and treasure their trophies.  Most of all, they treasure the experiences they have as a result of the generosity of friends and family: an annual cruise to Cozumel, and attendance at a conference of their choice.

In the beginning…, 7/15/2014

Image: Dr. Jerome Lejuene, discoverer of cause of Down syndrome; Picture credit: Fondation Jerome Lejeune via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) Dr. Jérôme Lejuene, discoverer of cause of Down syndrome

When Kelly was five weeks old, the National Down Syndrome Congress convention came to San Antonio. Daughter Martha and I drove down to see what we could learn.

Jerry and I … had also just received Kelly’s karyotype, which showed, most curiously, four No. 21 chromosomes. This was, needless to say, worrisome to us (and unheard of to our physicians). If one extra chromosome could gum up the works, what would two do?

Fortunately, the very man who discovered the cause of Down syndrome was present at the conference.

Jérôme Lejuene was a French researcher, who in 1958 identified that an extra 21st chromosome caused the syndrome named after the man who first described it, John Langdon Down.

…I figured he would be interested in Kelly’s karyotype, and I was interested in his take on it, so I stood in line to speak with him.   Read the full article >>

Dr. Jon Pierce, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, University of Texas, Austin
Dr. Jon Pierce, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, University of Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 


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