What is the Need?

Many inner city minority youth face difficult challenges due to negative influences, difficult living environments, and failing schools. They also are often missing a positive fatherly influence. All these factors combine for a graduation rate from high school well below 50%, and poor prospects for their life.

It would be beneficial to change the environment of many inner-city children, so they are removed from negative influences, and receive positive Godly guidance. 

While able to work at age 11, youth are prohibited by law from contributing to their family or society with meaningful activity. So until the age of 15, they often languish without enough to do. The Hope Farm School intends to change the dynamics, providing authentic challenges and leadership opportunities.


Our Goal

Our goal is to produce Godly men who will be ready for anything after high school. Hope Farm School is a holistic, incarnation ministry that seeks to develop young men in all areas of life.  We believe our faith affects all areas of our life.  Therefore, we seek to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).  We pursue this through worship, discipleship, academics, farm life, and extracurricular activities.  We seek to love our neighbors as ourselves through generosity, service, and living godly lives in our community (Matthew 22:39).


Executive Director


Don Norman, with wife Trudy and family


Leadership and Background

The Hope Farm School is led by Jeff Bird and Russ Gregg, and backed by a number of interested people that are involved with helping youth in South Minneapolis.

Jeff Bird is one of the founders of Hope Academy, an inner city k-12 school now in its 17th year. He grew up on a farm in Iowa, and currently is President of NBW Insurance Group, an insurance brokerage company in Minneapolis. Jeff has been the board president of Hope Academy from its inception to present, and remains very involved with inner-city children. He and his wife Widdy have 6 children, the last two adopted from Ethiopia. They live in south Minneapolis, where they are involved with several helping ministries.

Russ Gregg has been the headmaster of Hope Academy since its inception, and lives in south Minneapolis with his wife were they raised their three adult children. He has devoted his life to teaching and training inner-city youth.

Statement of Faith

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.