Big Maple Farm grows therapeutic programs, farm

Photo by Amy Cherry - Two-year-old George is shown riding Zip, a 22-year-old quarter horse during a therapeutic horseback riding lesson at Big Maple Farm in Ridgway.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

The 117-year-old Big Maple Family Farm was showcased during the recent Elk County Farm Bureau’s annual legislative farm tour.
On Friday morning, various local, county and state representatives were on hand for the tour as well as local farmers and those in the agriculture field.
Located at 877 Long Level Rd. in Ridgway, the farm is home to Big Maple Farm’s Natural Therapies established by Amanda McMinn-Balon in 2015 specializing in therapeutic horseback riding lessons. 
A nine-member board of directors oversees the non-profit organization whose mission is to provide individuals and the community an opportunity to enhance their independence and quality of life through animal interactions and therapeutic horticulture, specifically those with physical and cognitive disabilities, mental health diagnoses and those on the autism spectrum.