February 2017 Barn Blog

By Shelby Deering | February 2017
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we can’t help but feel the love in the air, in the barn between the animal friends, our volunteers as they care for our residents, and in the work that we do to strengthen the bonds between animals and humans. For us at Heartland, it’s easy for us to feel connected to the animals because we are with them every day. But the average person typically doesn’t have the chance to pet a cow or stroke a pig in their daily lives. That’s why we offer programming to children, families, and those who have experienced trauma, so they can experience those amazing bonds for themselves.

We know that helping people understand their connection to animals helps the animals’ well-being, too. Our rescues have

Sweet Joan the sheep (with Cookie’s rump!)

been through a lot, but once animals like Joan the Suffolk Sheep and Ellie the pot bellied pig received some scratches, treats, and love from our volunteers, they opened up and became whole new animals.

Even though we’re in the throes of winter, it’s plain to see from this announcement that we’re excited for our popular Summer Camp 2017! This year, we’re offering 11 weeks of camp for kids ages 8 through 13. Camp will start the week of June 12 and end August 25. Registration is already opening to the public on February 13, so keep your eyes peeled! If you register before May 1, you’ll pay $225 for the first week and get a $25 discount on the second and third weeks. If you register after May 1, you’ll pay $250 for the first week and you’ll still get a $25 discount on the second and third weeks. The discounts for additional weeks only apply to consecutive weeks registered.

Campers visit with Daisy the cow

And as always, each fun-filled, warm, and fuzzy week of camp will include up-close and personal interaction with our sweet rescued farm animals. The kids will do barn chores and activities centered on building our “3 C’s”: Character, Confidence, and Compassion.

Therapeutic programming is a top priority for us, especially as more parents, educators, and mental health professionals request programs for youths. So, it makes sense for us to hire our very first paid Programs Manager, a process that will begin this spring! The Programs Manager will develop, lead, and evaluate our programs for vulnerable youth, as well as assist with humane education programming. This person will truly carry out the heart-centered work of Heartland, and we are looking forward to have him or her join our team.

Heartland’s new Ambassador, Tera, snuggling with Lola the potbellied pig

Speaking of new team members, we are delighted to announce that we recently hired the fabulous Tera Runde as our Ambassador! In this role, Tera will lead most of our public and private barn tours and staff tabling events in the community. She has been an incredibly dedicated volunteer for the past three years, and we couldn’t be happier to have her on our staff.

Speaking of barn tours—our public tours will be resuming in March instead of April! We’d love to introduce you to our animals, just as spring finally begins.

And spring can’t come fast enough. We’re thrilled about our upcoming 7th Annual Gala, held on April 22 at the Concourse Hotel. Tickets will go on sale soon—February 22—and will be available on our website or by calling at 920-328-8280. Tickets are $75 for general admission and $100 for VIP admission. This year’s Gala theme is Baine’s Bash! It will include a VIP pre-party with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, a silent/live auction, and visits from our rescued animals, including Baine the goat, the guest of honor. Expect a glamorous and fancy evening, complete with adorable animals.

Businesses, organizations, or individuals who would like to sponsor our Gala can contact Dana at And anyone who is interested in donating an item to our auction can email Jamie Monroe at

Yes, we are certainly feeling the love here at Heartland. And we strive to share that love with everyone who comes through our doors—that includes humans and animals. We hope that our therapeutic programming, the research that is being done, and the events we plan will help animals and humans experience more love in their lives.  

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