When the local library offers a history lesson and a meet-and-greet, who wouldn’t attend?

The Father of our Country dabbled in more than war and whiskey. To help with the farming of our fledgling country George Washington developed an American donkey breed that could produce strong work mules. Having been gifted donkeys from Spanish and French rulers (however are they wrapped?), Washington blended their best characteristics together to produce the American Mammoth Jackstock.  By 1920 a registry had been established for the nearly 5 million Jackstock in existence.

Then along came the tractor.

Today the breed is listed as “Critical,” with just 200 annual registrations; most of today’s Jackstock are used for recreation (trail riding and so forth). A donkey farm a mere five minutes from our house is seeking to save the AMJ from extinction and offers a variety of programs and meet-and-greets to raise awareness of these beautiful animals.

Fun facts about these soulful Jacks and Jennies.

  1. They are “smarter” than horses. Come rapid decision time, horses will take flight rather than “fight.” AMJs size up the situation before deciding what to do.
  2. Donkeys can see all four feet at the same time, which makes them outstanding trail partners on rocky cliffs.
  3. All donkeys hear separately in each ear, then combine the sounds to assess the scene.

Speaking of ears, these AMJ’s also have the softest ears I have ever petted.

The owners of the farm also offered a meet-and-greet of the rest of the menagerie, including handsome little piggys and MINIATURE COWS!

Chickens for neighbors, and a petting zoo down the road, yet we can walk to the grocery and myriad upscale restaurants and shops.  My kind of #FarmLife.