By Samantha Trezevant
Families looking to have some fun outdoors while learning a little too don’t have to look far. Two local farms are inviting residents to their property to learn about animals and more.
Located in Plant City, Roos and Coos Farm is a farm experience for the books. It houses animals from around the world and offers tours on weekends. Roos and Coos Farm is also a USDA and FWC-licensed facility that breeds livestock as well as rescues and provides a sanctuary to exotic animals.
The farm began as a livestock business, but has expanded into a rescue facility as well and was recently approved to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit exotic animal rescue and sanctuary. Visitors are welcome to bring fruits and veggies to feed all the animals and can also hold and pet many of them.
The tours serve as a way to raise money to help care for the animals and are offered on the weekends by appointment, and although they are free, donations are appreciated as they help to continue the care for the exotic animals.
The farm’s mission is to educate people about the various animals that it has as well as to provide education about good animal husbandry and responsible pet ownership. Animals range from exotic livestock to exotic animals like kangaroos and different species of primates.
Learn more on Facebook at Roos and Coos Farm and on Instagram @roosandcoosfarm and support it by donating through its Amazon Wish List.
A second lovely local option is First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary. For four years now, its owners and volunteers have made beautiful lives for rescued kittens and cats along with cultivating produce for the shoppers that come in. Not only is this farm a heartwarming facility, it also honors the First Ladies of the United States.
Thanks to donations and volunteers, the farm has been able to transform hundreds of lives, both humans and cats. First Ladies Farm placed 13 kittens in new homes in 2018, 53 in 2019 and over 300 in 2020.
Not only does it save cats, it is also the only rescue and sanctuary for domestic poultry on the Florida Gulf Coast. This means the farm is occupied by numerous chickens, ducks, geese and peafowl, as well as dogs, many with special needs having survived dumping, abuse and even arson—and, of course, kittens and cats.
The amazing work of the farm is made possible through adoption of the kittens and support from the community. Donations are welcomed within the farm as it is very costly to treat, feed, care for and house every animal that comes through the doors.
Fresh produce, preserves, treats, clothes and more can be purchased on the farm site. All of these profits go directly to the care of the animals. Donations of money, food, litter and medicines are appreciated and residents can purchase items off its Amazon Wish List and volunteer.
Every cat is spayed/neutered, vaccinated, healthy, microchipped and can be adopted, but cats cannot be dropped off at the location.
Learn more at firstladiesfarm.com or on Facebook by looking up First Ladies Farm.