Lambing back in season

For a short time, live births open to the public


BAHHHH: People of all ages can come to Govin’s Meats and Berries Farm to hold baby lambs and catch a glimpse of newborns. © 2014 Emily Albrent

Story by Emily Albrent, News Editor

This year marks the 9th annual lambing event at Govin’s Meats and Berries Farm just outside of Eau Claire.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 29 and 30, and April 5 and 6, and is meant to bring in everyone from families to college students, Julie Govin, owner of the farm said.

For $7, the public can see newborn lambs and play with alpacas, dogs and baby pigs. The event is filled with squealing pigs, bleating sheep and kids running after chickens and roosters.

“We wanted to educate the public about farming and different animals,” Govin said. “People are very removed from farming now.”

More than 50 people crowded into Govin’s barn. Renee Barr and her daughters, Molly Barr and Kate Barr, have been to the lambing event before and returned again this year.

“It’s fun to be able to come out, to be able to hold them and see a live birth,” Renee Barr said. “Something is available for people to see no matter what.”

The farm also features events like strawberry picking and corn mazes.  At first, another owner, John Govin said this event started out as a way to bring in profit, but has grown into an educational experience. He said he wants people to see what he saw growing up on a farm.

One of the hardest parts about putting on the event is making sure the babies are born at the right time so people can see a birth, Julie Govin said.

“Some of the animals take a year to be born,” she said. “Alpacas gestation is a year, and as of right now we don’t have any alpaca (babies). It’s a timing issue, you have to know the gestation of everything.”

John Govin said it’s hard to run the event when people start parking.

“Lambing season is a very busy season of the year because of the births and to double the work load by opening up to the public is the biggest challenge of all,” he said.

Julie Govin said the event is for everyone and encourages people to take time to come to the farm because everyone loves baby animals. She said her favorite part of the event is seeing all the smiling faces on adults and children.

“It’s both educational and entertaining, this is the most fun event we do,” Julie Govin said.

Julie and John Govin said they want to see more college students. Julie Govin said they see a lot more students during the fall when they have corn mazes, but wish more students would take advantage of the lambing.

“Groups of friends go to the zoo, why not come to the farm?” John Govin said.

John Govin said he wants people to see beyond lambing.

“I think it’s important that consumers understand agriculture and understand that farmers really have the best interest with animals in mind as we raise them,” John Govin said.

He said the babies are fun to see and hold, but families can come and reconnect with