Photo: Sweet Farm/Facebook

Farms Are Renting Out Animals for Appearances on Company Video Calls

by Eben Diskin Apr 21, 2020

In this new era of video conference calls, a little playful change can be refreshing. That’s why the Sweet Farm animal sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, California, is launching “Goat 2 Meeting,” a new service that injects some much-needed face time with animals into your otherwise boring meeting.

The animal sanctuary, funded by grants and donations that come from tours and corporate events, has suffered financially during the coronavirus crisis. “Sixty to 70 percent of our revenue has gone out the door,” said Nate Salpeter, one of the farm’s owners. “So very quickly we had to figure out a way that we can still execute our mission while also driving revenue.”

Sweet Farm is offering up Paco the llama, Juno the goat, Magnolia the cow, or even Steve the rooster, as potential guests on your next video calls.

Sweet Farm llama

Photo: Sweet Farm/Facebook

Rebellyous Foods CEO Christie Lagally, who enlisted the farm’s services to lift the mood of her employees, said, “There was a quite a bit of squeals with joy as a fun diversion in the middle of a very busy Monday morning. Some of them were kind of coming in to eat or coming in from grazing, so…they’re very busy animals it seems like. I’m glad they took time out of their day to meet with us.”

Sweet Farm isn’t the only one running with this idea. The Peace N Peas Farm in North Carolina is renting Mambo, an eight-year-old miniature donkey, and his friends, to similarly participate in company conference calls.

Francie Dunlap, Mambo’s owner, said customers can reserve 10 minutes with the animals for $50, and she has already received a wide range of requests — including from teachers looking for a fun addition to their virtual classrooms.

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