For a third year, Larry and Vickie Shead invited students from the Fort Scott public schools to come and visit their farm located south of the city, where the children got to experience different aspects of farm life.
More than 150 students, visiting the farm in two shifts Thursday, got to feed animals including goats, a pig and a donkey, learn how to milk a cow, taste homemade butter and take a hayride while also participating in other interactive activities.
Vickie Shead said they were not sure at first what they would do with the farm after their four children grew up and moved out, but decided to continue using it to help others in the community and even from out of town.
“We just gave it back to God,” Vickie said. “Whatever you give to God, you don’t know what He’s going to do.”
Starting in 1994, the Sheads began welcoming college students who could bunk at the farm as a retreat, often helping with some of the work. Since then, thousands of similar students, including international students, have visited as well as others for occasions such as weddings, reunions, birthday parties and holidays, usually at no cost.
Vickie said they hope to continue inviting students and other guests to visit the farm as long as they can.
“What would we do with the farm if it wasn’t used for others?” Vickie said.