I worked at Farm Sanctuary as an intern back in my college days, so on a trip to see Watkins Glen State Park, I wanted to go back and visit the farm with my family. The farm has rescued many farm animals since they opened in 1986.
Farm Sanctuary is about 15 minutes from Watkins Glen State Park, and we had no problem finding it with Google Maps, plus there were signs along the way to guide us there.
We parked right by the Visitor’s Center and purchased tour tickets in the gift shop.
There is an introductory video about the history of Farm Sanctuary and farm animal issues (such as factory farming). If you have younger kids, you may want to have them skip this or turn away as needed, as it can be upsetting. The video was a sad reminder for me as far as factory farming. As much as I am familiar with factory farming, visuals are always a tough thing.
After the video, we headed out on the tour. We were given a few tips, like to make sure we didn’t bring food (pigs have a great sense of smell!), and to respect the animals and give them space (especially since many come from abusive situations).
I would recommend appropriate shoes for a farm. It was a rainy spring for us, so there were some very muddy areas, but even without muddy conditions you would want to wear appropriate footwear.
We learned about the cows first, with some from the dairy industry and others from the meat industry. Our guide brought us to the cow pasture, and we visited several of the cows there. The guide talked about some of the cows brought to farm sanctuary and we got to meet some of them up close.
We slowly made our way around the farm, from chickens to goats.
We got to meet this sweet older goat, who gets to live out his last days in comfort at the Sanctuary.
I remembered the turkeys being my favorite when I worked at Farm Sanctuary, and we were able to pick grass for them, which they enjoyed eating out of our hands. The turkeys are so sweet and friendly.
Last, we visited the pigs, who really like belly rubs!
We had a nice day at Farm Sanctuary, visiting the different animals. While it is sad to hear about the inhumane treatment of farm animals, it is a good reminder and an eye-opening experience as well.
Visit Farm Sanctuary at http://farmsanctuary.org/