WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – The Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen has no shortage of events and initiatives coming up.

The animal protection organization was founded in 1986 with the ongoing mission of combating the cruelties animals experience on factory farms. 

“A big part of what farm sanctuary does is educates people about the abuses of factory farming and we started by rescuing animals literally off of piles of dead animals or out of trash cans and they come here to live out their lives,” said Gene Baur, president & co-founder of Farm Sanctuary.

Now, it’s announcing new additions in the coming months. A former fur farm next to the sanctuary will be transitioned into a campground for guests and another sanctuary for animals. It’s scheduled to open next year.

“It’s part of our effort to create an eco-friendly experience for visitors where they get to understand the land. Get to understand the history of the land and starting to think about how do we live here on this earth, on this land in a way that is more respectful,” Baur said.

A vegan cafe is in the works too. That is expected to open early next year.

“We’ll be able to serve local food produced by farmers of New York. We’re going to start growing some of our own food here. Doing farm to table events,” said Baur.

It’s also starting to grow its own vegetables through new vegetable and wildflower gardens.

“We also want to create ecosystems that are good for wild animals, including pollinators. so, we put in a wildflower garden this year and we’re also starting to grow food using permaculture techniques such as those used by the native peoples.”

Who’s paying for these new projects? Supporters and grants.

“Farm Sanctuary is very fortunate to have thousands of very dedicated supporters who allow us to do this work. But, we’re also looking at other sources of economic development grants.”

If you would like to learn more, visit farmsanctuary.org