My name is Kate Kamins and I am the Founder and Executive Director. My husband Bradley and I, along with a team of volunteers are the caretakers for all of the animals that have found forever sanctuary at our home.
Where it all began:
In 2016, freshly out of college graduating from Iowa State University, Brad and I had big dreams of buying a little farm to call our own. While dating in college we would always talk about what life in the “real world” would be like - we knew we were over the apartment life and could never imagine ourselves living in a cookie cutter home. Being from small town Iowa I was used to life on the farm. I grew up playing in creeks, shoveling horse poop, and taking my goat Maggie on walks to the park. Brad grew up in a house two doors down from our current little farm - four wheeling in the back fields, mudding in his lifted truck (also our first date), and caring for their four sheep growing up. We knew that was the life we wanted, and where we would want to raise our future family.
Our house was built in 1837 and had little to no updating when we first moved in. Graduating with an Apparel Merchandising and Design degree - Brads family was convinced the home wouldn’t be up to my “standards”. Little did they know - upon the first day moving in - I immediately felt more at home than I had in a long time. With big dreams in our head of what we wanted this property to be - we began the renovation process. Many a night spent sleeping on the couch because of arguments on what the paint color should be, or which room would be best to keep as a nursery. Would you ever guess that running a sanctuary - or even having more than a couple pet farm friends was NEVER in the cards?
Until one weekend when we went back to visit my family in Iowa. We visited a friends house where I spent a lot of my time in high school - THEY HAD GOATS. I was so excited that I wore my dress and heels right into their pasture and my heart said - you have the space, you need to have a couple of pet goats. Memories from my childhood flooded back. The literal best days of my life were spent with my goat Maggie as a child. I told Brad that I would really like to have two goats and to my surprise he said “Sure, why not!”. I remember this day so vividly because I had exactly $150 in my bank account - we had just purchased a house and I had just started a new job. Was I stable? Absolutely NOT 😂
I started the text “Hey Dad!”... he has seen this many a time before so his immediate response “what do you need?” “Well, can I make my car payment a few weeks late so I can buy a couple of goats?”..... no response, but there was miraculously $300 in my bank account. THIS WAS THE BEST DAY EVER!
So we rode home for 4 hours with two goats in the truck. This began the whole adventure. I woke up at 5:30 every morning so I would have two hours to run around the yard with them, clean their stalls, and feed them before I went to work. I would sneak away on my lunch break to run home and give them a mid day snack. I would (sorry old bosses 😅) call in sick on rainy days to lay in their hay filled stall and take naps. Brad and I would spend every evening with them on our porch, running around the yard. It was a happy family.
Although I cared for every animal imaginable growing up from squirrels to raccoons, guinea pigs, goats, horses - I joined many goat and livestock groups locally so I could find a vet and get advice on their care. Upon doing so - there were so many animals being posted in a way that made them seem disposable. I had no idea that dairy calves were discarded in order to use the moms milk - I DEFINITELY had no idea that many dairy goats were disposed of in the same manner. So the dream changed.
When animals in dire situations were posted, I began asking the individuals if they would be willing to surrender them rather than me purchasing them. I was now stable at my job and had excess money to put towards the vetting and care of the animals I was taking in.
Brad spent all of his free time outside of his full time job renovating our barns, building pastures, and working on making our house a home. Basically being the best human in the world. It was extremely endearing to see him work so hard towards not only “our” dream but my personal dream to take in rescued animals.
In the summer of 2017 I attended another farm rescue's fundraiser, where they had a goat that seemed very sickly. They said they had just taken him in the day before, rescued from an Amish Farm, that had many more in bad health. So the next morning at 7am I lied to my husband (sorry babe 😬) about my schedule for the day, invited the random man that had picked up the goat for the other rescue to come pick me up, and found a partner in crime. That day we added 6 new goats to our family, over the next several weeks I learned what true heartache was. We ended up losing 4 of them to the illnesses and parasites they were suffering from. After $7,000 in vetting and extreme sleep deprivation, we managed to save 3 of them who still reside happily in our herd.
Shortly after this, Brad proposed and we began planning our wedding in the big barn on our property! We have now been married for 7 months! (As of August 2018)
We soon opened our home up to visitors in order to raise the funds needed to care for the 6 sick babies - and the rest was history. We now are open nearly every weekend for people to come visit and enjoy our little slice of heaven.
I gave up my full time job to have more time at home to care for the animals, and started a boutique in the barn, Fancy Farmgirl Finds, in order to fund my own bills.
We are a registered 501c3 non-profit that functions solely off of donations and the money raise from classes and events.
Often times once the weather warms up, people begin randomly showing up to see the animals outside of scheduled events so I like to clarify in advance, because some don’t read the signs stating not to enter our driveway.
• We are a private homestead - this is where we live. We are not an open to the public business. This our home first, a sanctuary for animals second, and a place for community to visit lastly.
• Please do not reach out to come on days outside of our scheduled events. There is no traditional work schedule on a farm - some days I work from 7am until 7am the next day if an animal is sick. If I act inconvenienced - it’s because you ARE in fact inconveniencing me. There have been many days where I’m in the shower, or napping - or doing anything that people do in the privacy of their own home and people show up expecting me to give them a tour of our property 🙈
• Around holidays like Easter we are bombarded with people wanting us to take the baby chicks, ducks, or bunnies that they wanted to gift to their children to play with for a day. My answer is no. Please don’t gift living animals.
• We have an amazing group of volunteers and are always thrilled to add to our little family - we have a page “Kamins Farm Sanctuary - Volunteers” that you can join to see opportunities.
• We do host private parties - but do not host weddings.
• We do NOT sell goats milk (frequently asked question).
• We do not adopt out.
• Our residents are spayed and neutered - we do not breed or sell animals. We strictly take in rescued animals and give them a forever home. (We did have a fiasco last summer where baby goats were born here but have taken measures to ensure that an accident like that doesn’t happen again, and all babies happily reside here with their forever families)
• We are a compassionate sanctuary - we do not serve anything with animal products at our events and we are here to answer any questions you may have in regard to becoming a vegetarian or vegan.
Welcome to our little community - we are so happy you’re here! ❤️