The Jensen Memorial Youth Ranch continues to grow, the brothers who got it started say.
Carl Grub started the ranch about 10 years ago donating the land and the building. He said he is pleased with its progress.
“I’m very tickled,” Carl Grub said. “There’s a lot of kids that take advantage of it.”
“Carl is now 81 years old and I’m 71,” brother Craig Grub, a ranch volunteer, said. “About 10 years ago, Carl brought up the idea, ‘If we’re going to do anything, we’ve got to do it before we’re dead.’”
The Medical Lake, Wash., ranch was originally owned by the Jensen family, and Carl purchased the ranch from them. It is named in their honor.
The roughly 110-acre ranch provides a place for 4-H and FFA members to keep their animals — steers, pigs, lambs and goats — at no charge. Students must buy their animals, feed them and clean and maintain the pens.
The number of participating students is increasing, Craig Grub said.
“We’ve turned out some excellent, excellent students through the program,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s anything more educational than for a kid to have the responsibility of an animal to take care of,” Carl Grub said.
“It’s to keep good kids doing good things,” Craig Grub said. “Without Jensen Youth Ranch, most kids wouldn’t have a facility to keep their animals.”
The ranch serves students from Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Reardan, Medical Lake, Cheney and “all the area in between,” Craig Grub said.
Last year the ranch hosted a 4-H fitting and showing school as a precursor to the Junior Livestock Show of Spokane. More than 250 students participated. The ranch also houses weekly 4-H cooking and sewing classes and monthly meetings, Carl Grub said.
The nonprofit ranch added onto its pig barn last year and hopes to add a shooting range for students to use for free.
“Like most things, all it takes is time and money,” Craig Grub said. “We aren’t going to have a can on a stump. We want it to be world-class. We’ve got to get the funds to build it right so it can be a beautiful, safe place for the students to learn gun safety.”
The ranch will hold its annual thank-you picnic for its volunteers this weekend.
“It’s kind of a thank you for the community for the support they give us,” Craig Grub said.
Carl Grub’s hopes for the ranch are “just getting bigger,” he said.
“We’ve got a good board of directors, good 4-H group of leaders and good FFA teachers,” he said. “I’m sure it will just continue to grow.”