Ellen Van Zanten - Experience Specialist
Hello to all of you out there in internet-land! My name is Ellen Van Zanten and I work for Conner Prairie with the Agricultural and Livestock department. Thinking about what to write for this first blog, I realized that there really isn’t a lot going on out here in the wintertime. This is the time of year we focus on training, coming up with ideas for new programs, and catching up on the chores that are difficult to get done during the regular season. So instead of making you read about all of that, I figured I’d walk you through a day for the Agricultural Staff in pictures.
When we are open during the summertime, we are often asked by our guests what happens to the animals in the winter when Conner Prairie is closed. With very, very few exceptions, our animals stay with us year-round, which means they need to be fed year-round. A typical morning for us means feeding. We put in some face time with all the animals on the property. And let me tell you, when you spend that kind of time with an animal, you get to know their personalities after awhile, their likes and dislikes, etc. Sometimes, any given animal could just wake up on the wrong side of the haystack. It’s very easy, when you see the same animals everyday, to forget that they are not pets.
Here at Conner Prairie, the animals we have perform a job, whether it is providing milk, pork, wool, or eggs. All of those things are important just as much today as they were in 1836. That’s part of why I love my job so much, it’s a daily reminder of where our food comes from and now how about another picture, eh?