Because of founder Ed Shipman, Happy Hill Farm exists to give children an opportunity to realize their dreams.

We equip them with the tools they need to become the men and women of God they were created to be, escaping underprivileged situations in which their potential is not realized … giving each one a bright future!

To celebrate all of these changed lives … and those still to come, take a moment to share your favorite memory of Ed Shipman and Happy Hill Farm.

Maybe you spent time at Happy Hill Farm, and you can share a favorite story. Or maybe you’ve supported Happy Hill Farm over the years, and you had a memorable conversation with Ed.

We’d love to hear from you! Please take a moment to write your tribute below.

My tribute to honor Ed Shipman


It was my privilege to serve the kids and staff at Happy Hill Farm as their librarian. I loved it when Mr. Shipman brought tours through our beautiful library. He always made me feel that what I was doing was truly appreciated. He just had that wonderful capacity to make anyone feel special. Words just don't seem adequate to explain his service to kids and others. He had this way of making you want to give your best whether you were a kid or an adult.

— Joan Treadwell

I was blessed to know Mr. Shipman because my father (Bob Bolen) was long time friends with him. My father made sure my brothers and I were well acquainted with Mr. Shipman and what he did for so many young people. My family have savored the cookies and treats for many years and so enjoyed the love that came in every box! There are so many stories I could share but I will share only one. Three years ago in December my father was dying of cancer he was very weak and wasn't leaving the house. I would go sit with him everyday and one day the phone rang and it was Mr. Shipman. He said "Terrie I have the van with our student choir and we are leaving Dallas and would love to come by and sing for Bob". I got my dad out of bed and he sat in his lounge chair and in came Mr. Shipman with the students! They gave my dad a beautiful Christmas concert. Mr. Shipman made my dads day and I was so grateful he took the time to do something that special for someone. Those two must really be having a time in heaven together! I loved Mr. Shipman so much and will miss him dearly.

— Terrie Manning

My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting your grandfather many years ago when Happy Hill Farm was in its early beginnings. Wow, what a wonderful undertaking!! May God continue to bless the lifesaving work you do.

— Sandra Rounsaville

I was blessed to begin a long friendship with Mr. Shipman when I arrived at HHFA in 1989. I was 12 years old. At the beginninggoing to HHFA was no camp. In my mind, sending me away was punishment for skipping school, getting into trouble... I was an angry and troubled teenager. I was good at blaming everyone else but myself for my own problems. Coming to the Farm, there were academics, rules, chores, church, working with animals and sports. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do was be anywhere near a cow or don basketball shorts!While not clear to me at the time, this was all part of Mr. Shipmans vision of building the whole person. Because I didnt understand it at first, I fought the system just like I did at home. But unlike home, there was something different at the Farm. Everyone there was deeply committed to our success. We would push the limits, and they just kept responding with firm, persistent and compassionate love, discipline and understanding. Unlike anything I had experienced in my young life, these people stood like unmovable mountains by their principles and they expected me to do the same. They believed in us. They expected nothing but the very best out of us. Mr. Shipman set a strong spiritual foundation in us and taught me to believe in myself. As he would tell me, "Don't allow the people around you or your situation to define youYou define yourself." Eventually a light was turned on inside of me. I was changed. And here I am today better for that experience.I graduated from college. I worked hard to build a rewarding career and a fantastic familywith my wife Kelli and my daughter Chloe. I'm truly blessed.Every step of the way, Ed and Gloria were thereeven after I left the Farm. Mr. Shipman presided over our wedding 16 years ago.Thanks to the vision and leadership of Mr. Shipman and the whole Shipman familyI am just one of the countless examples of a life that was changed. The Farm broke the cycle of despair for so many kids who are now strong, successful leaders. All of usour children and our children's childrenare, and will be, proud legacies to all that Mr. Shipman stood for, worked for and sacrificed for. So, what do you say about someone who saved your life? I cant put into words the impact he made on our lives. Its generational. 1 John, Chapter 4 describes Gods love for us. God's love was in Mr. Shipman. And Mr. Shipman shared that unrelenting love with whomever he came in contact with. That love was powerful. You could feel it. Everyone who knew him was touched by that love.Mr. Shipmans compassion was a gift from God. I suggest that we not keep that gift to ourselves! I think Mr. Shipman would tell us that we have a responsibility to share that Godly love and humility with others around us. Not with just friends and familybut with everyone. Much in this world stands against that kind of love. Theres a prevailing wind carrying a world view that there is no GodThey believe this world is all there is But, Ed Shipman was a unique and special man who stood against these prevailing winds. He knew the truthand he was quick to share it. He stood strong, unapologetic and unrelenting for everything good and right in this world.Certainlyand history proves thisOur words...Our actions...Our kindness and humility toward someone in need can truly change the world. By changing us, Ed Shipman DID change the world! He may be gone from this earthand we may never see the likes of him again...But he lives in our hearts, and his work should not end here! I pray that we are not complacent. I pray that honor Mr. Shipman's life by sustaining and building upon his vision to serve others unconditionally. Those who knew Mr. Shipman have been given a gift. Now we have a duty...I am comforted by the fact that this world isn't all there is. This is all temporary. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are saved and destined to see Mr. Shipman again in another time and place filled with unimaginable beauty. I can't wait!

— Jason Lamers

I first learned about Happy Hill Farm as a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. They were a supporter of the farm. Later I learned that the Shipmans began this ministry to children with their own money--no help at all. Such love & generosity is unheard of. Later I began to donate. My fondest memory is that Mr. Shipman paid me a personal visit-though at the time he had to have a driver & use a cane. I was not a huge contributor, I feel that is one of the high points in my life: to shake the hand of such a wonderful man. The world is a better place because of the Shi;pmans.

— Billye Bradley