A sanctuary for surrendered animals has grown into a business that brings families to the farm year-round.
Much like Old MacDonald, we’ve got nearly every animal you can think of on our farm—more than 400 total from about 24 species. This sanctuary, staffed primarily by my wife, Tabithia, and me, is a permanent home for rescued or owner-surrendered animals.
During the process of building our farm, or perhaps during the process of the farm building us, we serendipitously launched an agritourism venture that continues to grow each season. You might say we have a very unconventional approach to farm living.
A Craigslist ad put us on the road to Lakeland, Tennessee, in the spring of 2010, for what would be the beginning of our adventure in agritourism. In Lakeland, we found the cutest chocolate miniature donkey foal we had ever laid eyes on. Festus, as he would soon be called, made the hourlong journey home with us safely secured in the bed of our truck. We didn’t even own a trailer at that time.
We were so happy with how Festus settled into our farm that soon we found a second ad beckoning to be answered. Shortly thereafter, there was another ad, and another and another—and the rest, as they say, is history.
We started bringing in llamas, donkeys, horses, goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits and pigs in high volume. Before long, locals started to notice our little zoo on Ozark Avenue. We invited a nearby school to come visit and began hosting community events, including the Trumann Wild Duck Festival.
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