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Family hatches idea for educational tour

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Nicole Winkels and her husband bought Sunny Britches Acres in Cottam in April of 2021, fulfilling a dream of raising their children in farm setting.

They are now sharing their joy with the community during another period of shutdowns and restrictions.

“To be able to see the light in the kids eyes when they can pet a chicken or hold the bunnies or pet the cows. It’s been really nice to be able to do that for the community,” said Winkels.

Jen Knight visited the farm with her young son who was very enthusiastic. Knight describes her son as a COVID baby who has grown up with lockdowns and restrictions.

Getting out and discovering the farm was a treat for both of them, “He loves animals and he loves learning. He’s obsessed with naming all the animals. This is a great learning and fun experience,” said Knight.

It’s an experience the family delightfully shares. The three Winkels kids are excited to welcome visitors to their farm, “It’s going to kind of be exciting,” said Virginia, who is the eldest.

Families that visited on the first day got to see cows, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, bunnies and much more in a barn that is over 100 years old.

The family was preparing for a grand opening in April but saw the need brought on by the current shutdown.

“I want to be able to help the families right now in this hard time and be able to share some of the joy we have here with our animals,” said Winkels.

Sunny Britches gave fall and Christmas tours last year and wasn’t planning on doing anything during the winter.

They are re-thinking their plan after tour timeslots booked solid within four hours of being offered.

Winkels says, “With all the feedback of everybody wanting to come in we might have to do a few weekends before that so we’ll see.” 

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