Our family has been operating this farm as a pick your own berry and pumpkin ranch for 30 years. The farm is owned by the Schaefer family, including Ed, Tyson, and Zach and their families. Ed’s brother’s family runs Roca Berry Farm in Lancaster County, where they too have been harvesting memories for their customers for over a quarter a century.
Our roots run deep in Nebraska’s frontier history. Our great grandfather along with one brother left a Nebraska homestead to start a new ranch in Dakota Territory during the early 1880’s. Ed’s father grew up on a ranch near Wall South Dakota, and after World War II he became Chief of Nutrition with the Public Health Service in Washington D.C.. Ed’s father moved back to Nebraska, after retiring from the government, to establish the Swanson Center on Nutrition.
Our family is deeply committed to family farming, preservation of farm land, and the values of rural America. A visit to our ranch, while close to the Greater Omaha area, is like revisiting the past when farming was the main stay of the U.S. Economy. Your family will experience “HOW THE WEST WAS FUN and IS FUN”.
We are not just a pick your own farm, we are a country experience where guests will see a variety of farm antiques, livestock and crops, as well as unique play areas patterned after what life was like for kids 40 to 100 years ago.
We offer hayrides through 20 acres of woods along the old papio creek bed. Unique tree houses can be visited along with our version of a small western frontier town and kids fun playgrounds, including a 3 story 120 foot long pirate ship.
The farm offers strawberry and vegetable picking as well as the Great Pumpkin Roundup with over 20 acres of pumpkins and other fall crops. The ranch hosts festivals beginning with the Renaissance Festival of Nebraska, the first 2 full weekends in May and the Midwest Pirate Fest. (check with us for exact dates). The festivals are weekend events, and have grown into the biggest of its kind in the Omaha area. Each festival offers visitors a wide array of period acts, shows, and vendors all intended to entertain and educate patrons of all ages. It’s a place where your family can make their own festival and reunion, and of course our Great Pumpkin Roundup with the Ranch of Terror haunted house, Pirates Caves and the best Haunted Hayride anywhere around, are sure to make lasting memories.
Today our principle business is hosting catered county events including; barnyard bashes, numerous weddings, class reunions, and family and corporate events are held each weekend. We have three different lodges that we rent with a catered meal. All the food is prepared and cooked on site, by our ranch hands over outdoor camp fires, and smokers. The farm produces much of what it uses for our chuck wagon catering, so your group can enjoy only the freshest of ingredients. Many of the best dates are still available, so schedule a time to come on out and take a look at facilities.
The Schaefer family and staff will be celebrating 30 years at its current location. While much has changed around our farm, we are still committed to providing our visitors with a down home unique country experience.
Every building on our place as been reconstructed using old barns of which Ed, Ty Zach and friends have personally taken down over the years from farming neighbors throughout Sarpy and Cass County. The buildings have been reconstructed and decorated with old farming tools and implements.
Ed majored in Agriculture Economics at Colorado State University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees and then spent the next 16 years working on farm problems in Latin America with USAID, and then on U.S. farm and agriculture issues on Capitol Hill with the U.S. General Accountability Office . The family lived on a farm in Maryland while he worked for GAO and was one of the first family farms to be put into the Maryland farm land preservation program. His wife is Fabiola who is a dentist from Colombia. Her famiy has a farm, close to Magdalena River, dedicated to cattle production, with water resources and natural forest. She is helping at the farm with schools tours and parties.
Our dream here in Nebraska is to keep on farming and offering the people of Nebraska a truly family farm county experience. Ed often says: “local food cooked over an open fire, served in a barn that was built out of old historical barn wood, what more could anyone want!” Come to the Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch and see HOW THE WEST IS FUN.