Are you interested in meeting some unique animals and learning about farm life this spring? Then grab your boots and head outdoors to a hands-on agricultural tour at May Day Acres!
Located just north of Wylie Park along Foot Creek, May Day Acres is home to many exotic farm animals and most known for their beautiful Gypsy Vanner horses. This type of horse originates from the British Isles and is recognized for its feathered long hair and gentle nature. Owners Sarah and Adam Burgard share their personable horses with others by hosting interactive tours at their farm and also by loaning them for use at the local Spurs Therapeutic Riding Center.
The Burgards have operated May Day Acres together for several years. Sarah manages the farm and takes care of the animals. The Gypsy Vanner horses hold a special place for her because they share her Scottish heritage. Adam, also a contractor at the family business Burgard Construction in Aberdeen, builds and maintains all of the barns and animal shelters on the acreage.
The first tour of their farm happened unexpectedly. A windy day prevented a youth group from a scheduled visit to Spurs, so Sarah volunteered to have the kids meet her animals instead. The idea was a success, and the couple has been opening up their farm to group and individual visits ever since.
During a tour, visitors interact with Gypsy Vanner horses and a variety of other farm animals at their own pace. Additional habitants of the farm vary, but usually include peacocks, extra soft ’baby doll’ lambs, docile ’kunekune’ pet pigs, miniature horses and donkeys, turkeys, and Scottish highland cattle. All of these animal breeds are very tame and sociable, so expect to get up close and personal with the animals and to even feed them.
Part of a visit to May Day Acres also includes learning details about the different types of animals, where they come from geographically, and the agricultural products they provide. Guests can feel the wool from a baby doll lamb and learn about textile production, or travel back in time with stories about how Gypsy Vanner horses used to pull moving caravans in the mid 1800’s. A large farm garden located on site also provides visitors with the chance to partake in the process of growing food.
In lieu of having set hours, you can call May Day Acres at 605-272-9364 or visit www.maydayacres.com to schedule your own outing. The cost for tours is by donation. Family, group and individual visits are all welcome. They also host picnic-style outdoor birthday parties and can bring their smaller animals to make appearances at events in and around Aberdeen. Schedule a trip to May Day Acres and welcome in spring with a day on the farm! // – Jennifer Roth