Harvest Hope Farm offers youth an authentic farming experience – Agweek

MOORHEAD, Minnesota – Nestled in the trees just north of Moorhead, you’ll hear an abundance of laughter mingled with the crackle of little feet and the constant chorus of sheep bleating in the distance. Harvest Hope Farm hosts summer camps in this countryside oasis, allowing young people to experience what farm life is like. Although it is only a few hours a day, the little ones can be immersed not only in the great outdoors, but also in agriculture.

Lynn Kotrba and her husband Jason purchased the farm in 2015 and wanted to provide a learning environment for others to enjoy. Thus, Harvest Hope Farm was born.

Campers who frequent the llamas camp learn about livestock, including llamas. Photo taken June 6, 2022 by Moorhead, Minn.

Emily Beal / Agweek

“We just wanted to be able to share it with other people,” Lynn Kotrba said. “So we thought if we could find a way to bless other families with kids and share the outdoors and share what farm life is like for others, that would be a great way to bless our community. We simply believe in using what you have and the time you have to benefit those around you. That’s what we’re trying to do.

The Kotrbas have eight children and wanted to offer their home to other families and the community. Harvest Hope Farm offers youth summer camps where kids can really experience farm life. Their llamas camp is for 3-5 year olds and their farm camp is for 6-13 year olds. While on the farm, campers learn about wool, how to care for livestock, how to raise a garden and much more. Campers also learn how to work well and get along with others, which Kotrba says will help them with their emotional and social development.

For many campers, these camps allow them to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and experience a rural atmosphere. Sarah Hewitt enrolled her 3-year-old son, Arlo, in llama camp in an effort to give him more time in nature.

Arlo Heww
Sarah Hewitt picks up her 3-year-old son, Arlo, from the llama camp. Photo taken June 6, 2022 by Moorhead, Minn.

Emily Beal / Agweek

“I think it’s really important to have opportunities like this for young people, young children, to be exposed to this so early in their lives, so it sparks that interest for them as well,” said Hewitt. “We live in the city, and I agree he really enjoys being outdoors, but we don’t always get the opportunity to be in a more rural setting.

As children move away from the generation that grew up on the family farm, many lose basic farming knowledge. Kotrba hopes that by offering these camps, children can learn where their food, fuel and fiber come from.

“We live so close to this great Fargo-Moorhead area, where kids just don’t go out on a farm and don’t know where their food is coming from. We just think it’s important to expose kids to this,” Kotrba said.

About Keneth T. Graves

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