‘There’s so much to learn from an animal’

Snead’s Farmhouse to hold 1st summer camp July 25-30

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Snead’s Farmhouse Owner Judy Snead with crowd favorite, donkey Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Snead’s Farmhouse/ Facebook)

VINEMONT, Ala. – Snead’s Farmhouse in Vinemont will hold its first summer camp for kids ages 6 and older July 25-30, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. each day. Owner Judy Snead and her family will teach campers about the animals on the farm, how they are trained and what it takes to keep them healthy.  

In the mornings, campers will help Snead feed the animals while learning about animal care. Activities include arts and crafts, a puppet show, dance contest and a “water day” with the pigs where kids can play in sprinklers. On the last day, campers will help Snead give their parents a tour of the farm.

Said Snead, “I decided to start a camp simply because most kids that tour my farm are begging to spend the night and go home crying because they had to leave. I feel honored in so many ways. My farm was built upon God’s plan, therefore it’s exploding!”

Snead said she enjoys teaching tour groups all about her farm animals. She has had to teach herself many new things in the few years since she purchased her first chickens in 2019. Her farm has grown now to house 130 chickens, two alpacas, two cows, six goats, three pigs, 10 ducks, two tortoises, one donkey, a turkey and three rabbits.

Tending to her farm has been a meditative healing experience Snead loves to share with others.

“So many farms simply teach agriculture. I’m different. My farm is based upon healing and learning to live in the moment. My animals teach against judging others simply because they live in harmony. Not being a farmer, I had no idea you were supposed to separate your animals. I just put them all together and taught them to respect one another. I suddenly realize that if you teach them not to judge then guess what? They won’t! I use these tools to teach others that our job is not to condemn or discriminate rather just love!” she said. “As a matter of fact, I have a turkey that’s currently raising 15 baby chicks.  It’s so beautiful to watch her not to discriminate because her babies look different from her. We have a disabled duck with one leg. I teach how she looks different and walks different, but my animals treat her the same. There’s so much to learn from an animal.”

Most visitors’ favorite animal? Bad Bad Leroy Brown, the donkey.

“We have created a dance in the farm that the kids and I sing and dance for him – his ‘theme song,’” Snead laughed. “Kids’ reaction to my animals is total shock. My pigs can sit like dogs; my rabbit walks on a leash; my alpaca will allow me to dress him up and pose for pictures; Penny Lane my duck will tilt her head for pictures; Freddy my pig plays chase with the kids; Leroy Brown, my donkey, smiles for pictures; my chickens wear hats. We have a ball!”

Snead’s Farmhouse is not simply a farm petting zoo for kids. Snead says many seniors visit her farm.  Her rescue center has a covered, country front porch where the entire farm can be viewed from rocking chairs. The farm is also wheelchair accessible.

“Everyone is welcome!” said Snead. “I make sure everyone has the time of their life. Everyone that visits, leaves here my friend for life. I put my all into Snead’s Farmhouse because it’s what I love.”

Snead’s Farmhouse is located at 820 County Road 1225, Vinemont, AL 35179. The cost per camper for the upcoming summer camp is $200 for the whole week. Campers will need to bring a sack lunch each day. To register, call 205-807-2549 or message Snead through the Snead’s Farmhouse Facebook page.

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