June 1st, 2021
After twenty-one years at Windy Acres Farm, we have moved to a new location and we welcome our new Executive Director, Jaime Arnett.
In November 2020, as part of a long term strategic plan, ANT co-founder and former director Sonja Wingard handed the reins to Jaime Arnett. Jaime first joined ANT in 2015 as a grant writer and in 2019 took over operations and development for the organization. She brings more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. Jaime was an Assistant Director for a Habitat for Humanity and the Administrative Executive for the Boundary Fish Company. In addition, Jaime also served a short-term as an appointed Blaine City Council Member.
Under Jaime’s leadership, we moved to a new home on Kline Road this April. The farm is a short drive from downtown Bellingham and sits on ten quiet acres, doubling the pasture space for therapy horses and providing ample room for additional small animals including goats, chickens, and rabbits. With this move, we also welcomed several new herd members including seven horses, a miniature horse, a miniature mule, and a new goat!
While the location and leadership are new, our programs and mission remain the same: to improve mental and behavioral health through animal-guided programs with special attention to youth and veterans. Each year, we serve hundreds in Whatcom County and help them heal, build life skills, and develop resilience with the help of horses and other animals. Programs are still led by the organization’s longtime staff and volunteers, some of whom are former ANT participants themselves.
The move is ultimately part of a larger effort to one day expand services and capacity, a step towards a brighter future after a challenging year. With COVID-19 we’ve experienced a 75% reduction in program income while also seeing an increased demand for services. But even with these challenges, we continue to be hopeful: “We are so grateful for where we come from and now look expectantly towards where we might go,” Executive Director, Jaime says. “We hope the community will come and grow with us.”
To help us finish getting settled into our new home and continue to weather the pandemic, consider joining our Spring “Stable of Support” Pledge Drive. Community members that sign up to make a monthly gift will be entered into weekly drawings for the month of June. Pledges start at $5 a month. Prizes include a private farm tour, a chance to have ANT animals join your next Zoom call, and more! Please visit www.animalsasnaturaltherapy.org/donate for more information.