Barnyard Animals Part Of Gainesville’s Interactive Living History Farm Program


On Wednesday afternoons, the animals at the Living History Farm at the Morningside Nature Center are eager and ready to be fed.

Barnyard Buddies is a program that allows people of all ages to help the staff feed the animals once a week.

The program, which has been running for about 14 years, is aimed at getting people to meet the animals as well as visit the farm, according to program coordinator Sally Wazny.

Wazny added that just getting people to enjoy the outdoors has been a huge benefit, too.

“Coming together and getting to know the other members of the community and the other parents and grandparents who have youngsters is a really great social benefit of the program,” she said.

Depending on weather conditions, attendance can range from just a few people to crowds as high as 60 people, Wazny added.

Animals on the farm include a cow, chickens, hogs and sheep. The chickens and sheep are fed crack corn while the hogs typically get root vegetables, according to staff member David Trenor.

Penny the cow gets hay, but she often hopes for another treat.

“We can’t say apples too loudly around her because she won’t eat the hay,” Trenor said. “She’s spoiled.”

For Penny’s 12th birthday party last year, she got a cake made with alfalfa hay, 12 carrots and sliced apples, according to George Chappell, another staff member.

“She thought she’d gone to heaven,” Chappell laughed.

About Leah Marshall

Leah Marshall is a reporter for WUFT News and can be reached at 352-392-6397 or

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