November 11 and November 17, 2012
Celebration for the Turkeys
Hundreds of visitors attended Farm Sanctuary’s annual Celebration for the Turkeys at our Los Angeles, Watkins Glen, and Orland shelters. Guests mingled with our rescued cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals, and as always the highlight of each event was the Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony. The turkeys enjoyed a buffet of stuffed squash, pumpkin pie, and cranberries. Later in the day guests enjoyed their own feast of traditional Thanksgiving fare, all made vegan. Celebrity guest, Loretta Swit, addressed the Los Angeles crowd, along with Jonathan Balcombe and our own Gene Baur and Susie Coston. Attendees at the Orland shelter heard from special guest speakers Colleen Holland, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, as well as Gene Baur, Tara Oresick, and Sophia Rivers. Watkins Glen guests were riveted by talks from Holly Cheever, Victoria Moran, plus Bruce Friedrich and Susie Coston.
September 29, 2012
Hug a Farm Animal Day
Farm Sanctuary’s Los Angeles area sanctuary hosted its first official event, Hug a Farm Animal Day, in Acton, CA. Hundreds of guests showed up to celebrate the bond between people and farm animals on this sunny southern California day. This open house event was free to the public, and through generous donations by Sage Organic Vegan Bistro, Southern Fried Vegan, One Veg World, KindKreme, and For the Love of Bakery; we were able to offer delicious, cruelty-free hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and drinks. Following the amazing vegan fare, Farm Sanctuary’s President and Co-Founder, Gene Baur, gave an inspiring presentation about the importance of compassionate living. This fun-filled event ended with everyone’s favorite – farm time with cows, pigs, chickens, and other rescued residents who call Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres home! Photos from this special day can be found here.
2012 New York Hoe Down
On August 4 and 5, 2012, hundreds of guests convened among the rolling hills of our New York Shelter for a weekend of networking, education, amazing vegan food, and fun. Through an action-packed program of speakers and activities, attendees became informed about animal protection, advocacy, and plant-based living.
Guests enjoyed exciting presentations from Farm Sanctuary staff members, as well as Elizabeth Kucinich, Director of Public and Government Affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), John Pierre, plant-based fitness guru, Terry Hope Romero, co-author of Veganomicon among other celebrated cookbooks, Timothy Pachirat, author and former undercover slaughterhouse worker, and Milton Mills, M.D., associate director of preventive medicine for PCRM.
Lasting connections formed during activities like “networking bingo,” yoga, “bootcamp” workout with John Pierre, a screening of the film Vegucated, and our famous Saturday evening barn dance. The highlight of everyone’s weekend, however, was spending time getting to know the cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals who call Farm Sanctuary home!
Attendees left the 2012 event feeling motivated and inspired to make personal changes, and to advocate for others to do the same. We hope to see you at the 2013 Hoe Down!
Check out the 2012 New York Hoe Down Photo Gallery
May 19 & 20, 2012
Northern California Country Hoe Down
Kick-off: Two-hundred or so people gathered at our Northern California Shelter in Orland to listen to inspiring speakers, enjoy bountiful vegan meals, and visit with our animal ambassadors during our Country Hoe Down in May. Susie Coston and Tara Oresick kicked off the event with a review of recent animal rescues associated with our Orland sanctuary. Then, guests hopped on the tractor for a hay ride down to the shelter!
Speakers program: A few hours later, we all headed back to the People Barn for the start of the speakers program. Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach, spoke on the latest in vegan nutrition, followed by Lynn Henning, Sierra Club’s CAFO Water Sentinel. Susie Coston presented an informative talk on the cruelties of egg production, and Caryn Ginsberg gave a rousing talk on how to make vegan advocacy easy, fun, and popular. Next, Gene Baur spoke on hope for a more compassionate future. Allan Kornberg presented Hoe Down acknowledgements and awards.
Dining and dancing: By this time, we had all worked up an appetite — just in time for the vegan feast to be served. During dessert, our featured speaker, Kathy Freston, spoke on her new book, The Lean. Following her dinner presentation, we watched Vegucated, a funny, compelling movie on how three New Yorkers tried veganism for just a couple weeks, but the experience changed their lives forever. After the movie, we joined the barn dance, complete with “do-si-dos.” Many guests camped overnight. On Sunday morning, Bruce Friedrich and Sophia Pospisil gave a talk on effective animal advocacy, which included a role-playing demonstration on how to answer common questions you may be asked as an animal advocate. The conference wrapped up with two guided tours of the shelter before everyone headed home. Please check back to see photos from the event.
November 19, 2011 & November 20, 2011
Celebration For the Turkeys
Compassionate people from near and far attended Farm Sanctuary’s annual Celebration For the Turkeys at our Watkins Glen, Orland, and Los Angeles Shelters. Guests visited with cows, pigs, chickens, and other rescued residents, but the highlight of each event was, of course, our Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony, where guests offered our rescued turkey residents a banquet of stuffed squash, pumpkin puree, and cranberries. Guests at the Orland and Watkins Glen events participated in their own feast of traditional Thanksgiving fare, all vegan, of course. Attendees at the Orland shelter heard from special guest speakers Victoria Moran and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, as well as Gene Baur and Leanne Cronquist. Leilani Munter and Seth Tibbott, as well as Gene Baur and Susie Coston, spoke at the Watkins Glen event. Kim Kondracki and Cameron O’Steen addressed the Los Angeles crowd. Please check back soon for photos.
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.
September 3 & 4, 2011, Watkins Glen, NY
October 15 & 16, 2011, Orland, CA
Farm Animal Care Conference
The Farm Animal Care Conference offers participants an in-depth look into what it takes to start and operate a farm animal sanctuary. This year, the conference was held in Orland, CA and Watkins Glen, NY. Participants joined us for interactive seminars on animal care, program administration, educational outreach, and fundraising, as well as hands-on experience with the everyday operations of a sanctuary. Staff members shared insight from Farm Sanctuary’s 25 years of experience as the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization and guests went away armed with new insight into making the world a more compassionate place for farm animals.
August 6 & 7, 2011
New York Country Hoe Down
Though registration for the 2011 New York Country Hoe Down didn’t begin until 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, the lawn behind the People Barn was filled with tents on Friday night as Hoe Down guests eagerly awaited the weekend’s activities. Saturday’s program kicked off with a welcome from Farm Sanctuary Executive Director, Allan Kornberg, who then introduced the event’s emcee, author, and motivational speaker, Victoria Moran. Saturday morning was filled with inspiration: Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur talked about the organization’s 25 years of progress, Crazy Sexy Diet author Kris Carr shared her story of surviving and thriving with cancer on a plant-based diet, and National Shelter Director Susie Coston warmed hearts with her animal rescue stories. After lunch, guests had a chance to meet the rescued animals for themselves. During farm time, some explored vegan food basics with a presentation by Farm Sanctuary member Jamie Cohen, while others learned to make raw brownies during a cooking demo by staff member Michelle Waffner. Afternoon brought another round of captivating presentations: Zoe Weil of Institute for Humane Education shared her experiences, vegan body builder Robert Cheeke inspired guests to take charge of their health and fitness, and A Well Fed World’s Dawn Moncrieffe expounded the important connection between factory farming and climate change. Guests were then invited to a special 25th anniversary cocktail hour featuring vegan appetizers, wine, an author book signing, exhibit tables, and live music. During dinner, Gene regaled the audience with stories and photos from his cross-country Just Eats Tour: Exploring Vegan America. Then, as a special surprise, Kindfood Café honored Farm Sanctuary’s 25th anniversary by presenting Gene with a beautiful cake, which Hoe Down guests enjoyed for dessert. Festivities continued with a sunset yoga session, an outdoor screening of documentary Forks Over Knives, and our annual barn dance, which had guests stomping the boards late into the night. In the morning, guests re-energized with breakfast or yoga before sitting down to presentations featuring Humane League Founder and Director Nick Cooney speaking on psychology and activism, Farm Sanctuary’s Bruce Friedrich sharing his wisdom on effective advocacy, and emcee Victoria Moran providing insight on how activists can stay healthy and motivated. A thunderstorm delayed farm time, but luckily there was a vegan ice cream sundae bar to help everyone wait out the rain. When it cleared, guests were able to say goodbye to the farm animal friends they made over the weekend before heading home.
July 30, 2011
CA Twilight Tour
On this special elongated tour of the sanctuary, guests visited with our rescued farm animal friends while learning about their nocturnal habits. Back at the People Barn, everyone enjoyed vegan food, beer, and wine while creating compassionate community through conversation.
July 4, 2011
Fourth of July Pignic
Hundreds of familiar faces and first-time visitors gathered at Farm Sanctuary this July 4 to enjoy free guided tours of the shelters. Talented storytellers and musicians entertained guests as they awaited their chance to meet the rescued animals and celebrate their freedom. Visitors were also treated to a complementary vegan barbeque featuring meatless hotdogs and sausages, as well as recipes and coupons to take home. The beautiful weather, delicious cruelty-free food, and lively entertainment made this a wonderful Independence Day for humans and animals alike!
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.
June 4 & 5, 2011
California Country Hoe Down
Despite the unseasonable rain and cold, more than 150 people gathered at our California Shelter to listen to inspiring speakers, forage on mouthwatering meals, and visit with our animal ambassadors. California Shelter Director Leanne Cronquist kicked off the event with recent rescue stories. Then Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder, Gene Baur, arrived in his VW van! He shared a few quick stories of his adventures on the Just Eats Tour before inviting everyone onto the shelter to visit with the animals. Up in our turkey barn, Emily Webber of Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine presented a cooking demonstration focused on the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Also in the turkey barn, Leanne presented a talk on farm animal healthcare. After the pigs got their fill of belly rubs, we all headed back to the People Barn, where Dr. Melanie Joy, author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, helped us understand the psychology of meat-eating and gave us tools for effective advocacy; Robert Cheeke, vegan bodybuilder, offered tips on how to be both compassionate and healthy with a vegan diet; Rae Sikora, co-founder of VegFund, Institute for Humane Education and Plant Peace Daily, shared creative techniques to help even the most introverted to speak out for animals; and Gene presented a slide show of his coast-to-coast tour. A vegan feast was served, and then we burned off our chocolate cheesecake with a barn dance! Many guests camped overnight, while others ventured into town for a little shut-eye. On Sunday morning, Sophia Pospisil, education and intern coordinator, provided an update on current Farm Sanctuary campaigns before facilitating a workshop on effective animal advocacy. The conference wrapped up with activism break-out groups and one last tour of the shelter before everyone headed back home.
May 14, 2011
New York City 25th Anniversary Gala for Farm Animals
At Farm Sanctuary’s anniversary black-tie Gala for Farm Animals, guests experienced an unforgettable and inspirational evening among friends and Hollywood stars. They dined on a three-course gourmet vegan dinner; bid on silent auction items, including original artwork and vacation getaways; and heard the presenters, honorees, and performances underscore just how instrumental our work has been for farm animals over the past 25 years. See photos from the event.