Iowa Lakes Equestrian

At Overlook Farm

Meet Our Dedicated Staff of Professionals

Beth Ervin

Program Director & Coach

Beth holds a Bachelor degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Beth worked several years in Washington D.C. as the Appointment Secretary to former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler. In Iowa, Beth worked on several presidential campaigns doing advance work for candidate visits to the State. Beth also owned a home furnishing store in Minneapolis, Minnesota, responsible for human resources, customer service and sales management. Beth has served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Des Moines, Iowa. She is passionate about animals and believes strongly in the many benefits that result when humans and animals interact. She volunteered with "We Can Ride," an equestrian therapy program in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a graduate of "Mini Vet School," a community education program presented by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Beth's responsibilities include training, fiscal management, program development, recruitment, hiring of staff and volunteers and oversees the coordination of scheduling along with program and client logistics. Beth is the program's Special Olympics Equestrian Coach and oversees the training of select groups of Special Olympians. She prepares these athletes for various events culminating each year in Des Moines at the Iowa Special Olympics Equestrian Competition.

Nancy Howes-Robson,

Human Services Director

Nancy is a practicing Family Therapist providing case management and counseling for clients and their families at a long term residential program located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska in Psychology and holds a Master of Arts from the University of South Dakota in Community Agency Counseling. Nancy's specialty practice includes: bipolar disorder, encopresis, oppositional defiant disorder, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. She conducts individual, group and family therapy sessions aimed at goal setting, helping clients take small steps towards their individual goals, and leading clients and families in making profound changes towards more productive directions in their lives. Nancy provides human service technical assistance and reviews and comments on the development and benchmark progress of specific client based learning plans associated with the Overlook Farm's Special Olympics, 4-H learning and "Family Strength" programs.

Greg Ervin, MS, CCA
Executive Director & Coach

Greg has more than 23 years service to the child care industry. He developed and managed a similar Special Olympics Equestrian and 4-H agricultural learning program that served over 400 special needs youths annually for a nationally renowned child care organization in Nebraska. Greg holds a Master of Science degree in Human Service Counseling Administration and a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in Management of Human Resources, both from Bellevue University at Bellevue, Nebraska. In addition, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Agricultural Farm and Ranch Management; is a certified professional agronomist and serves the community of Kandiyohi County, Minnesota as a Sheriff Deputy Reserve Officer. Greg's responsibilities at Overlook Farm include overseeing the development of goal setting and Family Strength learning programs, hosting the Governing Board of Directors and providing program technical support and outreach activities. Greg also is Special Olympics Equestrian Coach and assists with the training of select groups of Special Olympians. He prepares these athletes for various Special Olympics Equestrian Competitions.

Greg and Jaci Eden
Equestrian Breeders & Enthusiasts
Equestrian, Small Animal, And Agricultural Assisted Learning Programs

Oversees equestrian and livestock operations, supervises Farmhand training and Farmhand activities associated with animal care training, orchard and gardening training and overall program safety. Greg & Jaci lend the technical support of all programs at Overlook Farm. Their diverse agricultural backgrounds help strengthen programs with oversight of farm safety and equestrian training.

G & J Ranch

The Edens operate a large modern family farming operation in North Central Iowa and provide a service of matching individuals to horses, paying close attention to meeting the unique needs of riders and animals. They have experience in trail riding, training, buying and selling horses. With the purchase of a horse from the Edens, they offer buyers the following guarantee:

If not satisfied with the match of a purchased horse, buyers may return the horse within the first 10 days after purchase and exchange it for a horse that offers a more suitable fit to the rider, providing the horse remains as healthy and sound as the day it was purchased.

The Edens also have available for sale: tack, saddles, harness, carts, and much more..... you request it, the Edens can find it.

To learn more, please contact the Edens at:

Greg 515-320-4096 Jaci: 712-348-5091

Staff Certifications

Our staff members are certified coaches through the Special Olympics Equestrian program. The Overlook Farm "Family Strength" programs are administered by Masters degreed human service professionals. The equine and agricultural learning activities are facilitated by staff members who hold agricultural college degrees and/or associated technical career experiences. Our solid group of equestrian coaches create a fun and safe learning environment and they look forward to teaching you to ride! Our human service professionals are eager to help you brush up on your learning skills!