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The Rockin' JAG Ranch Story – Oct. 25, 2014
The Dream of the Rockin' JAG Ranch came to a shocking and tragic halt Tuesday, September 23, 2014 when Jeff Geneau, the “J” of JAG (standing for Jeff and Audra Geneau) met with a fatal accident and died in his wife Audra’s arms. Audra’s immediate need is to find a job, which she is pursuing, and have funds to finish their dream for the ranch as well as complete the house that is still under construction. The house needs to have siding installed, flooring, the master bathroom and kitchen completed, as well as lots of finish work. Audra needs the job and the house finished in order to get a loan to keep from losing the ranch 15 months from now.
Three years ago the Geneau's purchased property outside Lolo, Montana with the dream of creating a ranch that would draw high risk and special needs children and city families that could taste country living and the therapeutic benefits that horses naturally bring. Their goal was to share the beauty of living close to nature and make a positive impact on people’s lives. Their property leads to public land with access to miles of horse trails that can be ridden during warm weather or offer sleigh rides in the winter snow.
Jeff, Audra and their three children, Tyler, Francesca, and Blaze committed themselves to the dream and the hard work necessary. They cleared several acres of thickly forested trees with four wheelers and cables, all by themselves, and put in 12 miles of fencing to accommodate several horses, cows and other livestock. They poured their heart into building a ranch home, with their own hands, that is now only partially complete.
Jeff, a former PRCA and CPRA professional rodeo bronc rider, earned the CPRA national title of ALL AROUND COWBOY three times. After his rodeo career, he attended several rodeos a year mentoring other young riders behind the chutes, including his own boys. Their youngest son, who is 14 years old, recently qualified for the Montana State Mini Bull Riding Finals. It will be his first ride without Jeff, but Blaize is determined to give it his all and will be dedicating this ride to his dad, his "pard," his biggest fan and his best friend.
Jeff was also an Eagle Scout mentoring boy-scouts to help them earn their horsemanship badges. Jeff and Audra often volunteered time and service to public schools, mentally disabled children and 4-H programs. They shared with children horsemanship education putting smiles on children's faces who had never before sat on a horse.
Jeff was exceptionally gifted with an ability to understand horses and form partnerships with them through training. He was often referred to as "a horse whisperer" by observers and customers, of which he would modestly chuckle over, but it's true. He surely was gifted in communicating with horses. He was a talented farrier/horseshoer. He ran an honorable business that he and his wife worked hard, side by side, to establish. Jeff was member of the local Christian church and served as a Deacon. He was a remarkable husband, father and all-around hero. His death leaves a giant void.
The most important lesson that he left behind for everyone was to always put things in God's hands and He will lead your life. “Remember”, Jeff would say, “You're word is your bond. Live honorably and with respect, be true to yourself and give your worries to God. If you pray, why worry and if you worry, why pray?
What will happen to this young widow who has had her own physical challenges since age six, when she was in a car accident leaving lifelong side effects and now suffers with Crohns Disease? Without her husband Audra has no ranch income as well as no life insurance benefits. This story has such deep heartache and brokenness and yet, we believe the dream of the Rockin' JAG Ranch is meant to become a total reality. Jeff’s life is meant to live on through people like you and me who recognize it’s not over. The odds are not favorable, yet, “If we build it, they will come!” They are kind, loving and generous people like you who will read this story and be compelled to do something to help this widow and her children.
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