LUC Boys Ranch opens doors to public for Open House
Ortman: ‘We want to see [the boys] doing well in all the aspects of their lives’
The Lives Under Construction (LUC) Boys Ranch in Lampe has offered a place for young men to go and to hopefully turn their lives around as they are guided to make better life choices and plan for their futures.
Ken Ortman, founder and owner of LUC, and his wife, opened the boys ranch in 1982 and has an Open House scheduled for Oct. 5.
“Anything we need for the ranch comes from donations and fundraisers the boys help to work,” he said. “The point to an open house is to allow the public to come in, meet the boys and see the wonderful and positive options we have for them here at the ranch.”
Ortman said there were about 450 people who came to the ranch last year during the open house.
“We haven’t had a whole lot of changes or anything big happening the last year, except for the auto body shop,” he said. “We have worked on that quite a bit and have even been able to use it a little bit.”
Ortman said adding the auto body shop simply added one more trade the boys can use and perfect during their time at the ranch.
“During the Open House, the boys will offer a hayride tour of the property that spans a little more than half a mile,” he said. “The boys get to use this time to show people all the things that they learn and do at the ranch. It is a positive thing for them, and it allows them to have some serious face time with the public.”
Ortman said over the last 30 plus years in operation, he feels that seeing the boys graduate and go on to live their lives is the best thing to come out of the ranch.
“Just like our own children, you spend time raising them and guiding them, but at some point, when they leave home, you have to just trust that the things you have taught them will continue to grow inside of them and they will make good choices,” he said. “These boys become fathers, husbands and members of our communities. We want to see them doing well in all the aspects of their lives, being productive in the community, holding down jobs and being good husbands and fathers.”
Ortman said the Open House will have tours that start at 10 a.m. and go until about 11:30 a.m.
“Then, we will all eat,” he said. “One of our graduates will be making the meal for our visitors, and then we will go right into the program.”
Ortman said he thinks the program will be both informative and inspiring.
“We have a group with a lot of talent,” he said. “There is an emphasis on Christian principles and that will come through in the program, as well.”
Ortman said after the program, people can take tours if they missed it the first time around, and there will be animals around the ranch that people will see too.
“There will be someone spinning wool, someone at the forging shop, and the boys will also be highlighting the other programs available at the ranch,” he said. “The Open House isn’t a fundraiser, but it is a thank you to the community and it allows the community to see what goes on here.
“The funds to keep this place running and to offer programs to these boys come from our community and the support they lend us. This is a way we can thank them and show them how much good we can do together.”
Ortman said being out in the country, there isn’t a lot of interaction at the ranch with the community.
“This allows people to meet these boys, and if there is a connotation in their minds about the boys, they will get to see that those ideas are not always right,” Ortman said. “We have great kids here. They are like another child in any other family, and this opportunity to see the true character of the boys and the ranch is so important.”
Ortman said he hopes that people come and take the opportunity on Oct. 5 to meet the boys and see their home.