Behind the Scenes: Heartland Farm Sanctuary
Madison Magazine: Please describe your involvement with Heartland Farm Sanctuary.
I currently serve on Heartland’s Board of Directors, helping set the vision for the organization and its programs. I came to be involved with Heartland after a long-time family friend reached out and strongly recommended I join her on the board, and I haven’t looked back!
MM: What has been the most beneficial element of this organization for you?
What I find truly impressive about Heartland is the way it brings together so much good in one place. While the “heart” of the organization revolves around rescuing abused, neglected, and abandoned animals, Heartland really shines with its people programming as well. It has been incredible to hear the stories of children with special needs, veterans, and victims of trauma, as they have interacted with the animals and Heartland’s staff. As a former teacher, I have enjoyed the impact Heartland’s year-round day camps, Barn Time, and other events and programs have made on kids all over the Madison area.
MM: How has the Heartland Farm Sanctuary and its events enhanced the Madison community?
Heartland provides programming for a wide array of people, including children, veterans, and those with special needs. Over the last few years, we have seen an explosion of interest in all of our programs, including our day camps and weekly Barn Time (for youth 7-12 with special needs) and Animal Hearts (for youth who have experienced loss or are survivors of trauma) sessions. Heartland also provides humane education at our barn and throughout the community to reach the largest audience possible. We are not the largest or loudest organization, but the efforts of our staff and volunteers continue to make a marked difference for many members of our community. It’s amazing to see so called “city people” interact with farm animals for the first time, and even more extraordinary to see the learning, growing, and healing that comes with!
MM: Please tell us about the upcoming Gala.
Heartland’s 6th annual Gala is just around the corner – Saturday, April 23rd. This year’s theme is ¡Farm Fiesta! and it’s sure to be a great time. The event will feature a mariachi band, some of our farm animal friends, a silent auction, and an amazing food and beverage menu. I’m most excited about the margarita bar, myself! We’ve been thrilled working with the Concourse Hotel’s staff so far, and it will be fantastic to see the event come to fruition.
MM: What is your favorite part of the Gala?
Many of the people who attend the Gala have interacted with Heartland in some way or another: they’ve volunteered with us, helped with the rescue process, or participated in one of our programs. I love watching these faces when we recap the past year and they realize the true breadth of Heartland’s mission. It’s neat to see people recognize all the good Heartland does in their backyard!
MM: How does the Gala help the Heartland Farm Sanctuary?
The gala is Heartland’s primary development opportunity each year. As an organization, Heartland maintains a lean budget and is careful to weigh costs and benefits of the funds we spend. The vast majority of our budget comes from private contributions, and the Gala allows us to raise funds and have fun at the same time!
MM: How can the community get involved with both the Gala and the organization as a whole?
We welcome new folks to get involved! Whether you’re interested in simply attending the Gala or volunteering on the farm, we’d love to connect with you. More information on the Gala, our programs and services, and the latest happenings is online at www.heartlandfarmsanctuary.org. Additionally, follow us on Facebook for the hands-down most heartwarming photos of all of our barnyard friends!
MM: What do you want others to know about Heartland Farm Sanctuary?
Heartland is proud to be a partner to our Madison-area communities, and we are always looking to expand our efforts on behalf of animals and people. Our mission is multi-fold, and our animal and people programming continue to grow year-over-year. If you’d like to get involved or know someone who would, please reach out – we’d love to get to know you and welcome you to the farm!
The Gala will be held on April 23rd at The Concourse Hotel. For more information visit heartlandfarmsanctuary.org