Home Is Where the Herd Is
Farm & Ranch Living|August/September 2017

A sanctuary for surrendered animals has grown into a business that brings families to the farm year-round.

Jason Mullins Trumann, Arkansas
I was recently approached by a woman at a local gardening seminar where I was the guest speaker. “You don’t look like a farmer,” she said to me. Considering the many hats I wear, I can see why she would feel that way. I have a minister’s license, a bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences, and a fast-paced career in medical imaging. Of course, in complete contrast to all of that, I also run Fair Haven Farms, a small farm in northeast Arkansas.

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.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FARM & RANCH LIVINGView All

Don't Forget To Bail

There are some rules to a happy sledding experience.

3 mins read
Farm & Ranch Living
December/January 2018

All Spruced Up

The whole family—whether they’ve got two legs or four—is invited to this Christmas tree farm.

3 mins read
Farm & Ranch Living
December / January 2017

A Horse of a Different Color

The journey of an Irish Traveller’s horse breed from England to a farm in Central Florida.

3 mins read
Farm & Ranch Living
December / January 2017

Slip Sliding Away

A good idea gone wrong can be fodder for a few laughs.

1 min read
Farm & Ranch Living
December/January 2018

Found In The Big Lost

Guided by fate, a southern couple braves a brutal Idaho winter to find their forever home.

4 mins read
Farm & Ranch Living
December/January 2018

Shepherd In Chief

Finula the fearless is head of security and her owners’ best friend at Finnegan’s Farm, West.

1 min read
Farm & Ranch Living
December/January 2018

Bidding On Life's Next Chapter

A winter farm auction signals the end of an era and the beginning of a new journey.

1 min read
Farm & Ranch Living
December/January 2018

Farm With a Corner View

The Schifer family’s hard work keeps this picturesque heartland farm growing into the 21st century.

3 mins read
Farm & Ranch Living
February/March 2017

If You Give a Sheep a Cookie

This little lamb grew up to love cinnamon buns, but that was just the start.

2 mins read
Farm & Ranch Living
February/March 2017

In the Blink of an Eye

Mother Nature’s volatility makes a high desert winter just right.

1 min read
Farm & Ranch Living
February/March 2017