Riverbanks Zoo and Garden kicked off the start of summer Tuesday with a celebration in The Farmyard. The Farmyard, presented by West Columbia’s House of Raeford Farms is one of the Zoo’s newest attractions.
“House of Raeford is proud to partner with Riverbanks to engage our community in educating young people about local agriculture,” said Jim Mabe, complex manager for House of Raeford Columbia. “Our hope is that current and future generations will learn about and value the investment farming families make in each of our lives.” The zoo has an entrance from West Columbia on Botanical Parkway.
The Farmyard opened to Zoo guests in late April. The experience features new animals including Nigerian dwarf, La Mancha, and Saaneen goats, plus Juliana pigs and domestic chickens. Guests can visit with animals up-close in the animal contact yard, feed the goats and chickens, hop on a real tractor for an imaginary ride, try their hand at milking a life-size, automated milking cow, and more.
“We are very proud to be a part of the educational experience the zoo offers,” said Chuck Underhill, House of Raeford sales manager. House of Raeford’s Corporate Communications Manager Dave Witter was also on-site for the event. He said helping provide an interactive experience in a parntership with the zoo is satisfying. And it is exciting to see kids with the animals.
Richard Skipper, Executive Director of the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said” “Both the zoo and the House of Raeford have a large economic impact in our chamber area. Their efforts to improve the area’s quality of life, and their community involvement, are an example of the good things businesses can do in their communities.”