Our History

In 1999, 160 acres north of Edmond and west of Guthrie was purchased and donated to Peppers Ranch with the goal of developing a long-term residential care facility providing quality, planned care for abused and neglected boys. The first home opened in April 2002, the second in March 2005, the McClendon Equestrian Center was completed in November 2005, and the Watts Ag Center was completed in May 2006.

Peppers Ranch Foster Care Community

In January of 2008, Peppers Ranch began an extensive study on how we could help more children while maximizing the investment of our donor base. After thoroughly researching what other states were doing, we found three foster care communities, one each in Illinois, Washington and Texas. We spoke with all three on numerous occasions, visited the Texas site, learned how they operated, and analyzed the advantages compared to our existing group home model. Following this thorough evaluation, Peppers Ranch became the first foster care community in Oklahoma in early 2009. The following benefits have been realized by converting to a foster care community:

  • Foster care parents are in one centralized location enabling encouragement and support for one another.
  • We are able to offer training and support to the foster parents, increasing satisfaction and retention of foster parents.
  • A sense of community, wherein a child can be sent to another home for a cooling off period to avoid disruption of the placement.
  • Counseling and educational support provided by Dr. John Poarch, a retired psychiatrist, who meets weekly with foster parents on child issues.
  • Carpooling between house parents for jobs, sports, and extra-curricular activities and overall combining of resources of both the Ranch AND of the parents.
  • DHS has identified a lack of resources to keep siblings together.  With Pepper's Ranch, we make every effort to keep siblings together.
  • Foster parents at Peppers Ranch provide each other respite.
  • Increased referrals and utilization of our services since DHS is reluctant to place children in group care.
  • Operating cost are approximately 60% less than operating as a group home model enabling Peppers Ranch to help more children.
  • Foster parents who are already fostering 1 or 2 children on their own are eager to foster additional children if they only had additional room and support... and are much better parents than paid staff as group-home parents.

Peppers Ranch Learning Center

In 2010, we completed construction of two additional homes and a 9,000 sq. ft. Multi-Purpose Learning Center... completely debt free! Additionally, 80 acres contiguous to the existing property was donated to the ranch, growing the ranch to 240 acres. In both 2011 and 2012 three new homes were completed and opened making room for 60 children. In 2015 we grew again, adding 3 new homes with room for over 100 children