Coronavirus: Llamas, goats join workers in virtual meetings

For a donation, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, turkeys or llamas are able to join a virtual meeting.
For a donation, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, turkeys or llamas are able to join a virtual meeting. Photo credit: Facebook/Sweet Farm

A US farm sanctuary has been overwhelmed by the response to a scheme which allows farm animals to join in virtual meetings, popular during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Sweet Farm in California launched the Goat-2-Meeting program as a way to fundraise while social distancing restrictions were in place.

For a donation, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, turkeys or llamas are able to join a virtual meeting, including Zoom.

"Need a fresh face to brighten up your video conference meetings? Want a fun experience for an online Happy Hour? Looking for a virtual tour? The Sweet Farm Animal Ambassadors are here for you," the farm said on its website.

Sweet Farm aims to help educate farm visitors around issues related to animal welfare, factory farming, and sustainability.

The farm animal additions are proving a hit in virtual meetings.
The farm animal additions are proving a hit in virtual meetings. Photo credit: Facebook/Sweet Farm

However, after the COVID-19 lockdown, they were forced to turn to alternative means to both stay afloat and spread their message, Sweet Farm co-founder Nate Salpeter told the New York Post.

"We were thinking, 'How can we still execute our mission and offset the cost to public educators?'

"Sometimes people just want to watch a cow eat grass."

Sweet Farm was established in 2016 as a way to promote the humane treatment of animals rescued from the stockyards. 

There has been no shortage of people keen for a farm animal to join their meetings.

"We have been truly amazed at the reception to our Goat-2-Meeting program! We're overloaded on requests, so your favourite time slot might not be available. 

"We're working hard to open up more time slots, so check back soon!." 

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