Care Farming

Care farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices for the purpose of providing a natural and positive teaching environment for the development of social skills, life skills, job skills. Care Farms provide supervised programs of farm related activities that include animal husbandry and cultivating plants.

The benefits of caring for animals can go beyond the human-animal bond by providing opportunities for meaningful occupations, mastery of tasks, leisure, relaxation and social growth.

Cultivating Hope Farms is an inclusive care farm. We welcome all individuals regardless of diagnosis.  We are a working farm where individuals can practice the skills learned in therapy while learning about farming and having fun!



To cultivate the lives of people with different abilities through sustainable care farming practices.


To provide farm experiences that increase skill opportunities and joy to people with different abilities.


To support the health and well-being of persons with different abilities and their families.

Quality Programming:
To provide programming opportunities that cultivate growth.

Hear from the kids

Care Farming at Cultivating Hope Farms

Our Mission

Our mission is to grow and support the health and well-being of persons with different abilities through care farming practices. We will cultivate growth through the planting of knowledge and skills that are transferrable to everyday life through the incorporation of animals, agriculture, and recreation. Our family-centered program provides a unique learning environment for participants to work on their individual goals and guide them towards a successful future.

Our vision is planting seeds, growing skills, and cultivating lives.

  • Planting  > seeds of knowledge
  • Growing  > skills by learning and working with animals and agriculture
  • Cultivating > participants by helping them attain their goals to guide them towards a successful future

Cultivating Hope Farms is an inclusive, family centered, supportive environment using farm care practices to help our participants learn valuable life and job skills. We value kindness and acceptance above all and encourage fun during work and play.  

All programing is developed by a certified teacher, occupational therapist, and board certified behavior analyst.  

Quick Facts

CHF is an affiliate of Can Play an inclusive sports program in DesMoines.

Story County Conservation and Tuneful Journey offer programs out at the farm occasionally.

CHF is a working farm with breeding livestock.

CHF is for all ages and family focused.

CHF is involved in the ISU ranch rodeo in the fall and Iowa Horse Fair in the spring.

CHF experiences are sensory focused.

CHF has ABA(applied behavior analysis), art, and occupational therapist on the board or advisor to help develop experiences.

Board Members

Brad Perkins, BS, MS


Brad has been a Teaching Professor at Iowa State University for 14 years in Construction Engineering Program. He is also a Licensed Professional Engineer and sole proprietor of his own engineering business. He lives with his wife of 23 years, 5 children, and multiple farmyard critters on their rural Boone County acreage.

Sarah Schrader

Board Member

My name is Sarah Schrader. I am a former nurse, now a homeschooling mom of ten kids. I have nine sons and one daughter, with ages ranging from 16 years old down to 18 months. Our entire family is considered neurodivergent and six have been diagnosed with autism. One is 2E, while the other five are profoundly affected.

I have been passionate about homeschooling and helping others with whatever they might be struggling with on their journey to educate outside of the public school system. As the various diagnoses have rolled in for our family over the years, I have also become absolutely passionate about advocating for other autism families, especially the ones who feel as though they are struggling alone on the more profound aspect of the spectrum. I am convinced we can move some huge mountains if we can help connect autism families to resources, opportunities, and community that understands their experiences.

Alyson Beytien, BCBA, MS-Autism, LBA

Board Member

Alyson Beytien is a popular speaker, trainer and mother of 3 young adult sons’ with autism. She does training and consulting throughout the U.S. and Canada. Alyson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and has a Masters degree in Education specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of Kansas. Alyson is the Director of Autism Services for Life Connections, Inc. in Iowa and the author of “Autism Everyday” which received the 2012 Literary Work of the Year for the Autism Society of America. Alyson has a deep belief in the power of caffeine, butter and chocolate (not necessarily in that order), loves to quilt and read, and is trying to learn the meaning of the word “relax.”

Gina Perkins


Coming soon…

Jessley Ash

Board Member

Hi, my name is Jessley Ash. I just finished my sophomore year at Grand View University. I am working towards my Bachelors of Social Work degree, with two minors in Family Studies and Psychology, with full intent to achieve my Master’s next. In my free time, I love to be outdoors camping & fishing. I also enjoy meeting new people and spending time with family and friends!

I have always had a big heart for our friends with special needs and autism. I spent many years volunteering for my local Special Olympics group and assisted in one on one mentoring throughout high school with a friend of mine who has Down Syndrome. Growing up on a farm here in Iowa allows me to bring my experience and love for animals to CHF to better help our friends connect with our animals! I am excited to bring new insight to the board and help grow CHF on its already successful path!

Sammie Moorman

Board Member

Sammie Moorman is an RN and is currently working at Mary Greeley hospital in Ames. She is devoting her free time to all the needs of Cultivating Hope Farms. Her down to earth pure love for those that live with autism and special needs is seen in all she does. This passion was instilled in her from the love of her special needs sister, Suzie.