Critter Barn has acquired 27 acres of beautiful Michigan farmland in Zeeland Township, at 2950 80th Avenue (our new address). If you are looking for our site, take Chicago Drive "around the bend" past Zeeland Hospital, then travel South on 80th Avenue.
On August 12, 2016, our Critter Crew volunteers planted a sign on our new property: Future Site of Critter Barn! We broke ground on May 14, and have completed the infrastructure... pipes in the ground, parking lot, roads.
Now, September of 2020... we are starting construction on our first group of buildings for the new location!
The most exciting piece of our new farm is blending the old with the new. If you visit a long-standing “family farm” today, you’ll first see the old farmhouse, barns and coops. Then, off to one side, you'll see several slick new steel barns with automatic feed bins and huge fans - maybe hog finishing barns, or turkeys. The combination of old and new will demonstrate how farming has changed over time and give us both experiences.
Children find fulfillment in the immersive learning experiences at Critter Barn. The farm environment is an inspiration to everyone.
Most of us are unaware of the work on a modern farm. Our new farm will be a rich learning ground for guests and a training ground for children and youth to grow a better understanding of agriculture, the cycle of life and a respect for nature and living things.
Our welcome center will be a Post and Beam Monitor Barn, a style that allows natural light from the raised center. The barn will have a dedicated space for visitors with special needs, including a covered drop-off entrance. It will have a meeting space for classes or introductions to tours, bathrooms, a farm store, welcome area, volunteer headquarters, plus a generous open area to sit, eat and relax in the center of the barn.
From the ground to the table, Critter Barn connects people with the story of how our food is produced. We have milked goats at our current farm but look forward to our own free-stall barn and milking parlor for dairy cows. You will meet newborn calves and the milking cows as you walk along the feeding line. Watching cows munch their mixed feed ration or settle down on a bed of sand, will teach everyone about the needs of a healthy cow. Once in the milking parlor, you will see a milking demonstration and enjoy a milk or cheese snack, compliments of United Dairy Industries of Michigan (UDIM).