Giving Back with Critter Barn

boy with goat at Critter Barn
Photos: Critter Barn

By Kelsey Smith

About the organization

In Zeeland, the Critter Barn teaches people of all ages about farming and agriculture through the natural miracles they can find at the farm. Critter Barn offers a variety of interactive animal and crop experiences, connecting children and families to the natural world around them. Visitors can meet a variety of over 200 farm animals and birds, including sheep, goats, hogs, cattle, horses, chickens and rabbits.

Mary RottschaferMeet Mary Rottschafer, director

How did you get started here?

Soon after we moved to the farm, our church choir put on a party, painted our barn and put on a comedy show that included farm animals. Our hobby farm grew, and friends in education asked if I would offer field trips. The Critter Barn grew out of this beginning. It was totally unexpected.

What impact does the Critter Barn have on the Community?

Critter Barn reconnects people with the natural world through a working farm. We host people at the farm six days a week and travel to more than 100 places in West Michigan each year. Critter Barn gives all guests the opportunity to learn about raising food and animal care, but also provides a place that’s fun to visit and spend quality time with friends and family.

girl with chick at Critter BarnWhy this matters

Our goals are to serve the community through this farm by providing families with quality time and unique hands-on learning opportunities for all children. We raise good, healthy animals and give everyone of all ages and all abilities an opportunity to be amazed at the miracles that happen in the barn. These experiences serve as an inspiration to everyone, especially children, teaching them to appreciate life and the miracles found on the farm. We inspire through hands-on learning and teaching, field trips, farm demonstrations, classes, youth and adult volunteer programs, and our traveling Farm on the Go!

How you can help

Take a class, visit the farm, recommend a field trip to your child’s teacher, hire our Farm on the Go and make a financial donation! We welcome volunteers of all ages and have classes that prepare young people to work effectively around the farm.

Critter Barn
9275 Adams St.