Visit Iowa Farm Sanctuary in Oxford, Iowa & meet the animals who call it home. About 25 minutes from the University of Iowa, IFS is a refuge for rescued farm animals.
IFS opens its doors to visitors on Sundays in warm weather months. They also have larger special events throughout the year.
Shawn & Jered Camp with their rescued family
Iowa Farm Sanctuary is a safe haven for rescued pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, ducks, and cows. Opened by Shawn & Jered Camp, IFS is a place where rescues peacefully live out their natural lives in a forever home.
With wide open spaces, plenty of grass, shady trees, and mud puddles for pig bathing, it’s a paradise for animals whose beginnings were much bleaker.
The seed for the sanctuary was planted when Shawn read My Gentle Barn by Ellie Laks. The memoir is about an animal sanctuary outside of Los Angeles and the rescued animals who live there.
That dream set them on the path of creating a sanctuary of their own.
After getting a farm, they rescued their first animals one month later – Monkey and Marley, who came from Iowa’s largest breeding facility for pigs. The facility is the 4th largest in the U.S.
An anonymous worker contacted Shawn & Jered about the piglets, who were runts, and therefore deemed as unprofitable. At that facility, they kill about 2,000 runts a week.
On the 4th of July in 2016, Monkey and Marley became Iowa Farm Sanctuary’s first official residents. “It was their independence Day,” said Shawn Camp.
Since that time, Iowa Farm Sanctuary has moved from its original location in Marengo to a much larger plot of land in Oxford, Iowa & adopted many more animals. Read about all of the residents here.
“I love seeing them play. It’s so peaceful knowing that they’re happy, and that they’ll be happy for their entire lives. That’s definitely the best part for me,” said Jered Camp.
How to visit
You can visit IFS on Sundays during warm weather months (from May 16 to October 10, 2021). They are open from 1 pm to 4 pm.
The sprawling farm includes a mile long walking path, where visitors can stroll the grounds and meet the rescued residents. Volunteers are on hand to share the animals’ stories.
You can get advanced tickets on the IFS website. Tickets are a $12 donation per person for adults and kids over 10. Kids 10 and under are $6/per person. Private tours are also available.
Throughout the year they also have special events like outdoor yoga, an overnight camping experience, and celebrations with food & speakers.
Content and photos updated August 10, 2021. Originally posted December 3, 2016. The attached video is from Iowa Farm Sanctuary’s first big event in 2016.