Executive Director, Founder
Mary worked initially in music and elementary education after graduating from Hope College in 1974. Her passion for teaching and working with animals continues to grow because of the profound effect the whole farm experience has on children and youth.
Faith is a Hope College graduate with a major in biology. She worked as a Zookeeper before coming to the Critter Barn and enjoys caring for animals, working and sharing with kids and adults alike. She is married to Nate and they have two dog’s, Arya and Maizy.
Guest Services Coordinator
Her love of animals and children has made this job her all time favorite. In her spare time Bonnie plays golf, is a Hope College basketball fan, and an avid gardener.
Wally volunteers alongside his wife at the farm, while continuing professionally as a podiatrist. As one who multi-tasks around the farm, Wally says he has the best of all jobs. Whether doing small repairs, milking goats or taking guests around, he enjoys it all.
Special Friends Teacher
Our Special Friends program has been under the leadership of Mary for the past four years. With fifteen years experience in Holland Public Schools Special Education, she enjoys the healing benefit of visitors interacting with the animals and the farm environment.
For the past 20 years, Josh has called West Michigan home, and his enjoyment of the animals and the outdoors shows. Josh fosters puppies and holds a Communication degree. He encourages our Crew volunteers and manages our facility.
Makayla is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in
Public and Nonprofit Administration. Her position at Critter Barn combines her passions for animal care, youth education, and nonprofit work. In her spare time, she enjoys the beach and time with her dogs Sadie and Lucy.
Critter Barn was where I developed an interest in agriculture, which started me on the path of working with and caring for livestock. Thank you for allowing me to learn so much.
I just graduated from MSU!
Zach brings diversity to Critter Barn. He's earned his Eagle Scout Rank, studied welding and worked previously at Padnos. He joined our staff in 2017 and enjoys working around the animals. He even has goats and chickens at home!
David has been providing graphic design for the Critter Barn for over a decade now. Evidence of his work is all around the farm and in our printed and digital materials. David believes in Critter Barn's mission and is honored to be a part of it.
Deb is a 7th & 8th grade Science teacher in Saugatuck. Volunteering at the Critter Barn is a great summertime opportunity for Deb to combine her love of animals and her passion for teaching. If you don't see her in the barn you'll find her working in our gardens.
Fourteen years ago, Emma started with Critter Barn as a weekly Crew volunteer. She has spent time in Uganda and Ethiopia, at the Yezalalen Minch School, focusing on children at risk, and has traveled with her father to Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
Bio coming soon!
Critter Barn was my life, I love farming and working with the animals, and now it's FFA and the Tech Center and next summer I'm working at a dairy farm.
Shakira is from Central Iowa and graduated from Iowa State (GO Cyclones!) with a degree in Animal Ecology. She has a background working at the Zoo working with various animals. When she’s not at the Farm, she enjoys being outdoors, exploring local restaurants and being creative.
Julie Dykstra Walters
Being a participant in Critter Camp opened my eyes to my passion for working with farm animals. Now as a Licensed Veterinary Technician, I can look back and see the impact
Mary and her team at Critter Barn have had on my life.
Alison Van Kampen
I had no clue that I was going into agriculture until I was at the Critter Barn.
I have volunteered at the Critter Barn for 9 years. Animal science, agronomy and missions – that's my goal.