OUR TEAM

Comprised of volunteers, instructors, staff, and the founders John and Beckie Thompson, the Green Meadow Farm team is a reflection of individual gifts and of collaborative efforts contributing to the heart of the lesson program.

Keri Altland – Lesson Instructor & Instructor Support

Whenever I pull into the driveway of Green Meadow Farm, I feel like I am transported to another world. I feel peaceful and comforted and happy. This is a place that I truly enjoy working and spending time. My favorite places to be are the meadows next to the stream where I find quiet places to think and pray. My hope is that all who come to Green Meadow Farm experience these same types of transformative emotions.

I am an Occupational Therapist and an animal-lover at heart. It has been a dream of mine for many years to combine these two loves into one passion. When this opportunity was presented to me, I was so very grateful and excited to join this team of amazing people who love horses and care deeply about children and families.

I am married to my high-school sweetheart, Nathan. We have three children. Quinn joined our family in February 2012 by way of adoption from Ghana. She loves coming to the farm and loves to pet Belle. Mason is our animal enthusiast and loves all things furry or feathery. His favorite things to do at the farm are feed the horses and chickens, play with the cats, and collect eggs. Seth also joined our family in September 2012 from Ghana. He enjoys petting Domino and pulling “Ned” the water tank. In my spare time, I love to drink lots of coffee, bake pies, and go for long hikes.

Betty Baltozer – Lesson Instructor & Office Manager

For as long as I can remember I was “into” horses. It was a way to escape the life challenges in difficult growing up years. As a child, I read books on horses, watched TV shows about horses, dreamed of horses, drew horses on every piece of paper I could get, played “horse” with my friends, rode the neighbor’s plow horses (as they were plowing) or a friend’s horse, but when I was 21 I finally got a horse of my own.

Having horses of my own through the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned how to be patient, kind, nurturing, encouraging and when life calls for it, how to be firm and disciplined. I was in rhythm with life on the back of a horse and working with horses! It was through giving riding lessons to kids that I learned empathy and compassion for those that were hurting and facing those same challenges in their tender years. I firmly believe that God in his infinite wisdom, privileged me with difficult young years so that he could use me to influence His Kingdom in my adult years. For most of my life I’ve had opportunity both vocationally and in my personal life to be involved in ministry to children/youth and their families. It is my passion to help families navigate the sometimes difficult road they may face.

I heard about Green Meadows Farm from a couple different people in passing, and one day in the Fall of 2013 when I was out and about with a friend, on a whim we decided to stop by and check it out. I liked what I saw and, as I spoke with Beckie, I felt the heart beat of the farm. I was invited to be a part of the team and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! I enjoy the animals, the calming atmosphere of the farm and, most of all, the children that I have been privileged to connect with in lessons.

Bri Beiler – Lesson Instructor

I’ve always loved horses and was fortunate enough to be able to compete during high school, earning two varsity letters through the USEF. For five years I focused on three-phase eventing with my thoroughbred horse. I gained a strong relationship with him and learned how to communicate with, care for, and understand these big, beautiful animals.

I graduated from high school in 2016 and started working full time, making the difficult decision to find another home for my horse, as I knew that I could no longer give him the time and attention that I wanted to and that he needed.

It was in this tough season of life that I discovered Green Meadow – online. I knew I needed to find another horse-y adventure to focus on, and I was intrigued by Green Meadow’s strong desire to a) serve the Lord, b) work with children and c) work with horses – all things that I am passionate about!

I love hanging out with my youth and young adult group, riding friends’ horses, going camping, and spending time with my mom, dad, and brother.

Randy Blank – Lesson Instructor

Bree Bryant – Lesson Instructor & Horse Training Coordinator

My mother had always wanted a horse of her own since she was a little girl so when I was 8 years old and started asking for a pony, she jumped at the chance to fulfill both our childhood dreams.  I very soon joined the local Pony Club and 4-H, eager to learn as much about horses as I possibly could.  I worked at barns and took on training projects all through high school.  

When I went off to college, I competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association but made sure to organize my schedule so I could work at the barn every weekend we didn’t have a show. During the summers, I gave lessons, trained horses and helped run horse camps.  I also started supplementing my college education with Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) accreditation and training with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).  

During that time, I started to feel a calling to ministry, but I loved my horses too much to completely surrender that part of my life.  I remember asking God to make it obvious to me if horses weren’t part of the future He had for me.  Soon after that, I was asked to be the “equine expert” for the planning committee for a residential home for at-risk girls that wanted to use horses as part of their program.  In the spring of 2013, I was offered a position on staff at that program, which we named Meadows of Hope. As the first Equine Supervisor there, I got a front-row seat to both the triumphs and the challenges of growing a new ministry. Over the years, God provided countless opportunities for me to deepen my understanding of relationships, both with horses and hurting people.

The same year I came on staff at MOH, I married my husband Derek.  Five and a half years later, in December of 2018, our son Booker was born.  His arrival changed many things in our lives, not the least of which was forcing me to take a break from ministry and reflect.  I found I had a vision for empowering others to do ministry work with horses. Once again, God was setting things up for me.  

Just at the time I was ready for the next level in coaching horses and people to help each other, the folks at Green Meadow Farm were looking for someone who could support their current instructors and bring on new ones to deepen the excellent work that has been happening with the children who come to the farm.  I feel so very blessed to be part of the team and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us. 

Greg Boll – Lesson Instructor

I’d love to say I grew up on a beautiful horse ranch but that wasn’t the case.  In fact, my dad is extremely allergic to horses so despite my requests at age 2, I was horseless until my late 20’s.  I was hungry for knowledge and became a complete sponge for everything horse.  I wish I could say I was equally hungry at that age for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  A deeply personal relationship with Jesus did come eventually as I became disciplined to reading God’s Word every day.  I’m now excited to serve those He brings into my life and share how He has changed me!
My introduction to Green Meadow Farm and their wonderful team came first as a farrier (horseshoer).   Just in case you want to know, a horse needs its feet trimmed every 6-8 weeks.  This gave me regular experience with each horse in the program and conversation during those times often involved specific health or fitness challenges and ways to help the horses perform their jobs better.
I have now retired from horseshoeing and I am part of the instructor team.  I still enjoy working with the horses but EVEN BETTER is getting to know each child that I am privileged to work with.  I love building relationships with them, praying for them, and having fun with them.  There are many animals on the farm that the children learn to know and relate to. Each animal’s personality has many parallels to relating to people.
I am married with 2 boys and live in Ephrata, PA.  I opened a small saddle shop in the downtown area but ship saddles around the world.  Leather has a way of bringing out creativity in people and I have enjoyed learning that God has made me a very creative person!

Gemesen (Carper) Baer  – Lesson Instructor & Volunteer Coordinator

I heard about Green Meadow Farm through a friend at church. She knew about my heart for working with horses and children and thought the farm would be a great fit.

My heart for the program is to connect children through horses, to their families and others. I hope to be able to share my passion for horses and Christ with the kids and their families.
As the children come and learn more about horses and the other animals on the farm, my desire is to help them to see God’s love and sacrifice.

My favorite place on the farm is out with the horses! I love being with them, whether out in the pasture, in the barn, or riding and grooming.

As for my family, I have two brothers who constantly entertain me. I enjoy hiking, cooking, reading, photography, and working on cars in my spare time.

Deb Jeffrey  – Lesson Instructor

I grew up on a horse farm; owning and showing horses since I was 8 years old.  I had a sweet childhood immersed in horses; learning responsibility, patience, sportsmanship and accountability. Horses were in my blood and I loved spending endless hours at our barn. It has been said “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man (or woman).” I’ve always known intuitively that horses were healing.  After getting married and while raising my children, I ran a lesson and boarding facility for 20 years and mentored several groups of girls through the barn. They often reflect on how important and soothing the horses were especially during their turbulent teen years. The barn was a refuge from the tough world they lived in daily.  

Having recently sold our farm in York and moved to Lititz I needed to find a way to get my horse “fix”.

I became a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor at Greystone Manor TRC where I teach 2 days a week and help school horses. I still had an older lesson pony named Sammy who I had owned for 22 years. He needed a job and attention. I approached Beckie and was able to donate him to Green Meadow. I feel truly blessed to have him at the farm and being an integral part of the program. So nice for him to live out his senior years in such caring hands surrounded by children which he loves so much.

I would stop by frequently to check on Sammy and interact with staff at Green Meadow. When Beckie and I talked about me helping with the program as an instructor. I was very excited to merge my two loves. I became a Christian as an adult and am excited to use horses to help share the hope and light of Christ with children struggling with tough experiences. Horses are so pure in their presence with no agenda or judgement. This peaceful farm, wonderful horses and loving people are truly a blessing from God to the hurting child. Sammy and I are so happy to be a part of such a beautiful ministry.

Carolyn Polonus – Lesson Instructor

Long ago I decided that Green Meadow Farm was the most beautiful farm in Lancaster County. I was fortunate to live near it and drive past its fenced-lined meadows, enjoying its amazing natural beauty. Little did I know that event by little event over a ten year period would allow me to be part of this amazing venture on this beautiful piece of God’s creation.

I love horses and was given a year of horseback riding lessons for my ninth birthday. This blossomed into quite a passion, and I spent the next several years riding every day, participating in Pony Club, and competing in three phase eventing. My first love was definitely a horse! At Green Meadow Farm, I hope to combine that love and knowledge of horses with my interest in helping youth succeed, to encourage their confidence, to wholeheartedly listen to them, and to provide a safe place for them to learn and grow.

The Fern in me (the girl in Charlotte’s Web) comes out each time I walk into that big red barn, my favorite place on the farm. I love the rustles of animals moving, the crunch of the cat eating, the camaraderie of the people and the animals…even the smell does my heart good!

I am married with three adult kids and a dog. I enjoy reading, tennis, skiing, and walking with my dog. I love to go out with my friends, and my favorite place in the whole world is Silver Bay on Lake George in New York.

Rachel Tress – Lesson Instructor – Barn Manager & Media Specialist

When I was almost 9 years old, my parents had decided to become missionaries to Australia. Having a strong interest in animals, as soon as I found out there were horses on the ministry’s property I eagerly accepted the offer to learn how to ride. It was love at first sight and I knew I would spend my life with horses ever since that day.

After my opportunity there I continued to seek out ways to involve myself with horses by, completely out of character, taking it upon myself to contact barns and people who could help satisfy my thirst for more when each door closed over time.

After coming back to the US when I was 17 I continued with the thought that I would work with horses for the rest of my life but slowly saw God close that door. After struggling to accept what felt like a loss, I was given the opportunity to help with a children’s Christian camping ministry teaching young children how to ride horses. It was an amazing experience that showed me a completely new way to reach out to people while still using my love of horses.

Unfortunately, after that short chapter of my life, it appeared horses would not be a viable option for me and I began to pursue a career in art as an illustrator. Still longing for more interaction with horses I came across Green Meadow Farm through Melanie. (It’s a funny story, you should ask us some time.) I quickly fell into the program here and have found an amazing opportunity to share my love of Jesus and horses with people who might feel the same need that I did when I was young.

I am a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design with a BFA in Illustration. I work as an illustrator for children’s illustration/books, here at the farm, as well as for Sight and Sound Theatres as an Animal Handler in the shows. When I can find a moment to myself I enjoy all things creative, spending time with my numerous pets while watching movies, practicing dog agility, and having adventures.

Patty Walker – Lesson Instructor

Green Meadow Farm has truly been the place where I have been able to “restore joy in the journey”. From the first time I drove up the lane, I felt the peace, love, and joy of just being in the beauty of God’s creation and the warmth of connecting with the horses and all the people who open their hearts to a hurting world. They do it all with excellence!

As a child from a hard place my escape was often in books and dreams of horses and riding off into the sunset. Many afternoons I would escape to the neighbor’s just to visit with their horses on the other side of the fence, bringing them tears and treats. I know the power of the special connection God has put in the equine spirit. As a young adult with my first full-time job, I purchased my first horse.

Years later while participating in a study of the Purpose Driven Life and reading Hope Rising, God placed on my heart the desire to use my journey to help hurting children find hope and healing with the assistance of these “Equine Angels”. Often children have been so hurt by people it is hard for them to open up and trust. We can use the horses and fun activities to bridge that gap, giving us a way to find a path to their hearts and share the hope and love that Jesus has for them.

My other interests include travel, especially short-term mission trips, reading, music, movies, skiing, and spending time with my friends and family.

Emily Weaver – Lesson Instructor

Before I knew about Green Meadow Farm’s mission and their passion for serving children and families, I enjoyed driving past the beautiful farm.  I always thought it looked like such a peaceful place.  When I finally experienced it firsthand, I discovered that it is as peaceful and restful as it looks.
During my teen years, I was blessed to be part of a youth discipleship ministry which taught me a lot about my Christian faith and helped me grow closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It has also given me a passion for working with kids and teaching them about Jesus.
I’ve always loved horses, but only recently have I had the opportunity to ride them on a regular basis.  I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming more familiar with these beautiful animals.
When I first learned of the ministry at Green Meadow Farm, it seemed like the perfect fit for me!  It combines some of my favorite things: kids, horses, and Jesus. It is such a blessing for me to be able to teach kids about horses and farm animals, while providing a safe place for them to learn valuable life lessons.
I was home schooled and graduated in 2016. I now work full time and enjoy volunteering in various ministries, including this one. I have five siblings, two of whom were adopted from Guatemala, and I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading, crocheting, being outside, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.