Past Events

Past Events

2013 Events:

Celebration for the Turkeys
Orland, California, November 2, 2013
Acton, California, November 9, 2013
Watkins Glen, New York, November 16, 2013

Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters overflowed with compassion as guests gathered to honor our rescued turkeys with a holiday feast! The Celebration for the Turkeys is a cherished Thanksgiving tradition attended by hundreds of people each year. All three events featured a special Feeding of the Turkeys ceremony, followed by a delicious Thanksgiving feast for our human guests while they listened to compelling presentations from expert speakers. Our 2013 event partner, Tofurky, provided their famous roasts as the entrée of the gourmet vegan meal, which included other holiday favorites. Melanie Joy, Ph.D., author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, spoke at both California locations and received a standing ovation from audiences who connected with her talk on carnism and effective activism. Our Acton guests were joined by chef Chloe Coscarelli, the first vegan chef to take top honors on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Zoe Weil, founder of the Institute for Humane Education and author of Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life, presented at our Watkins Glen celebration. And Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston shared “Turkey Tales” at the Orland and Watkins Glen locations. Each program was rounded out by Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur who discussed creating a compassionate holiday tradition. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us!

September 14–15, 2013
Watkins Glen, New York
Farm Animal Care Conference

Participants in the 2013 Farm Animal Care Conference spent a crisp fall weekend at our New York Shelter engaging with Farm Sanctuary staff and the rescued animals who call the sanctuary home. The group convened each morning in our seminar room for presentations from Farm Sanctuary staff covering topics such as effective fundraising, program administration, how to increase impact through educational outreach, and shelter maintenance. Most of the weekend was spent working directly with the animals, learning about their unique health challenges and daily care needs. Guests went home empowered with a greater understanding of what it takes to rescue and provide life-long care for farm animals in a sanctuary setting.

August 3 and 4, 2013 New York Hoe Down
Nearly 300 people joined us in Watkins Glen to celebrate an inspiring weekend of expert speaker presentations, quality time spent with rescued farm animals, and networking amongst activists. Guests enjoyed an expert speaker program, with presentations from:

  • Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder, on victories, milestones, and the journey ahead
  • Susie Coston, national shelter director for Farm Sanctuary, on 2013 rescue stories
  • Nick Cooney Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Communities Campaign manager on the psychology of social change
  • Cody Carlson, former undercover investigator for Mercy for Animals and HSUS, sharing stories from his time undercover and insight into ag-gag laws
  • Larry Baldwin, North Carolina CAFO Coordinator with Waterkeeper Alliance,  educating guests about the environmental impact of factory farming
  • Melissa Costello, author of The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook, on healthful vegan eating via a nutrition presentation and a cooking demonstration.
  • Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion Over Killing, ending the weekend on a hopeful note celebrating vegan eating on the rise

The Hoe Down also offered several optional activities, including a workshop with Erica Meier teaching guests how to reach out to restaurants in their own community and a workshop with Nick Cooney on distributing leaflets and vegetarian starter kits.

Guests also had a chance to kick back, relax, and connect during cocktail hour, a bonfire, a morning yoga session, and our annual barn dance. The activity guests enjoyed most of all, as always, was the ample time spent on the sanctuary with rescued animals.

For a closer look at the Hoe Down, check out the 2013 NY Hoe Down Photo Gallery

June 1, 2013
Hug a Farm Animal Day

Farm Sanctuary’s Los Angeles area sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres, hosted its second annual Hug a Farm Animal Day, an open house celebration where visitors spent the day exploring everything our newest location has to offer. The event began with quality time at the sanctuary, where guests enjoyed all of the rescued residents that make our Southern California Shelter such a special place. After spending time with the animals, guests were invited to listen to Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder, Gene Baur, and Kathy Freston author of The Lean, speak and hold a Q&A session on compassionate living. The event ended with delicious vegan fare from Sage Organic Bistro, Veggie Grill, Native Foods, One Veg World, KindKreme, and Choc. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

May 18 & 10, 2013
Northern California Hoe Down

Beautiful weather, great food, inspirational rescued animals, stirring speakers, delightful guests – what a fantastic weekend! Sophia Rivers, Farm Sanctuary’s Education Coordinator, started off the weekend with a presentation of recent animal rescues at our Orland sanctuary. Then, guests moseyed down onto the shelter for some quality time with our rescued residents. A bit later, everyone came back to the People Barn for our speaker program: Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director, spoke on modern factory farming practices; Timothy Pachirat, author of Every 12 Seconds, illuminated the experience of workers and animals in a slaughterhouse; Nick Cooney, author of Change of Heart, spoke on the psychology of advocating for animals; Linda Long, author of Virgin Vegan, gave tips on how to better use food and photography as tools for social change; and Chef AJ, author of Unprocessed, gave a rousing cooking demo featuring whole foods prepared with no salt, sugar, or oil. Guests then enjoyed a nice big feast featuring fresh salads, gourmet vegetable side dishes, plus BBQ beans and Beyond Meat chicken-less strips as entrees. During dessert, Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s President and Co-founder, greeted the audience. Next, a live band tuned up their fiddles and accordions for an old fashioned barn dance! Then, Sunday morning, many guests opted to join in on the birding tour and yoga class, while others simply enjoyed the company of fellow guests in the People Barn. Sophia Rivers returned to the podium for a talk on the rise of the “humane” farming industry, debunking myths on free-range, organic, and cage-free labels. Then, Captain Cindy Machado, of Marin Humane, spoke on farm animal law enforcement. Next, all conference speakers joined together for a stimulating Q&A. The event finished up with one last tour of the sanctuary. This was a weekend that won’t soon be forgotten!

Featured Past Events:

October 27-29, 2011, Arlington, VA
National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment, and Farm Animals
Nearly 350 environmental, animal protection, and public health advocates and professionals gathered in Arlington, VA for the first-ever National Conference to End Factory Farming. Participants arrived motivated to increase their awareness about the negative impacts of modern animal agriculture, and to set in motion new ideas and collaborative actions to put an end to factory farming. The conference hall buzzed with positive energy as 45 expert presenters exposed and discussed the issues surrounding factory farming and offered potential alternatives. Keynote presentations were delivered by Congressman James P. Moran and senior writer for Time magazine Bryan Walsh. The conference included plenary presentations and panel discussions, as well as an exhibit area featuring leading environmental, animal protection, and health organizations. The powerful momentum created by this truly groundbreaking conference will undoubtedly be carried forward by all who attended.

June 25 & 26
Watkins Glen, NY: Intern Retreat
Several dozen former Farm Sanctuary interns visited our New York Shelter for this exclusive event that featured quality time with our rescued residents, games on the lawn, great food, and inspirational speakers. A highlight of the event was a panel discussion featuring five former interns who have gone on to do amazing things for animals: Kari Nienstedt, Arizona State director of HSUS; Todd Stosuy, Santa Cruz Animal Services supervising field manager; Jon Camp, director of outreach for Vegan Outreach; Nick Cooney, founder and director of The Humane League; and Alka Chandna, laboratory oversight specialist with PETA. Throughout the weekend, guests mingled, laughed, and inspired each other to continue in their efforts to create a more compassionate world for farm animals.