White Barn Fun Farm is owned and operated by Melissa and Denis Jackson. Melissa was born and raised in Brooks, and Denis has lived here for over 20 years. Both of them are passionate about serving the Brooks Region. They are honored to hold Rural Ag Business of the year 2019 from Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce.
White Barn Fun Farm is a family run animal attraction business located 10 minutes west of Brooks Alberta. They opened their hobby farm to the public July 1st 2018, and since then have had 4,000 visitors to their farm. Summer 2020 brought many new small groups to their agra tourism business! Visitors drove from Drumheller, Red Deer, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Ralston to visit the farm! White Barn hosted events for homeschoolers, mom groups, cohorts as well as guests from Travel Alberta and tourists passing through from Highway 1.
Visitors really enjoy the private personal tour learning about Tibetan yaks, emus, alpaca fiber farming and much more. Guests to the farm rave about the interactive animal experience.
Melissa and Denis provide several farm tours throughout the day during the spring and summer months. Featuring friendly animals like alpacas, llama, fainting goats, tibetan yaks, emu's and more. Like many small businesses they took a huge hit because of Covid 19. Community events and school tours are a huge part of their income and that was all put to a halt. Since White Barn Fun Farm is a small family run business with no staff, they don't receive any aid from the government. Which means they needed to adapt to survive. As a result they had to get innovative.
Since April 2020 they do more traveling with their animals. For example curbside visits to senior centres and daycares in Medicine Hat. As well as home visits with Hope the alpaca.
As a way to get their name out there and encourage community spirit Denis dressed up like Shrek with his real life Donkey and hit the streets of Brooks Halloween night. The community loved it, he was recieved well by young and old! In addition he was recognized internationally on various social media platforms as the real life Shrek and Donkey! They had Brooks in the spot light long after Halloween and people continue to share images of Shrek and Donkey on social media.
That inspired them to have Denis dress as Santa with Hope the alpaca for curbside visits! and the response was phenomenal! They spent numerous days traveling to Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Brooks visiting homes, businesses or schools up to 32 stops a day. During this time they were interviewed and featured on Bridge City News Lethbridge and Chat News Medicine Hat. Melissa and Denis are extremely proud of this huge under taking for their small business. They reached so many people and had amazing feed back and positive responses to the Santa and Alpaca visits.
Their animals are bringing smiles to seniors who haven't smiled in ages. Kids are having a blast with Hope the alpaca home visits, and adults are raving about the experience to their friends. Mental health is compromised now more then ever and petting a cute friendly animal releases feel good endorphins and is very healthy and uplifting.
Melissa the co-owner and business manager of the agra-tourism business is responsible for numerous social media accounts. The most popular account is Mrs.Chores on tik tok, a popular app. Mrs.Chores has nearly 100,000 followers. The account features short videos with their farm animals, but the star is a young Alpaca named Prince Gimpy. The viewer comments are always positive. These videos are made at the White Barn in Cassils and like Shrek and Donkey is spreading internationally! Fans from Germany, U.S, Poland, and UK and of course Canada!
They are extremely excited to be a nominee of the Tourism Award 2020 from Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce and would like to wish all the nominees for the Tourism Award the best of luck! They also wish to extend a thank you to the Brooks Region residents that recognize the value in supporting local businesses during this especially challenging time.