The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is hoping the offer of a $10,000 cash reward will help them identify those responsible for alleged extortion and harassment of the operators of The Rickety Ranch, in Hollis, New Hampshire.

The farm offers young people the chance to learn about and care for farm animals, including Quarter Horses, mules, donkeys, Miniature Horses, and ponies.

In a written statement, Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said the farm owners have received several extortion letters demanding $250,000 from someone claiming to be able to settle an ongoing zoning dispute with the town of Hollis and to keep them safe from harassment. In addition to the letters, the family was targeted in a series of attacks that resulted in thousands of dollars in damages to their homes, barn, and vehicles, Shaw said.

“Some animals at the farm were subjected to animal cruelty and one died,” said Kristen Setera, publish information officer for the FBI’s Boston Field Office.

She declined further comment on the ongoing investigation.

According to its website, The Rickety Ranch teaches about children between 9 and 19 years caring for farm animals and encourages them to get involved in agriculture. Animals at the farm come from abusive backgrounds and have been rehabbed by children some of whom are “aspiring to become veterinary technicians, veterinarians, (and) farriers,” the website stated

Gary Bergeron, who operates the farm with his wife, Diane, declined comment.

A town of Hollis representative declined to confirm or deny allegations that the farm was the subject of a zoning dispute.

As the investigation continues, the FBI is offering the cash reward for information leading to the identification and subsequent arrest of those behind the extortion and harassment. Anyone with information should call the FBI Boston Division at 857/386-2000 or submit tips at