Sweet Farm’s “Goat-2-Meeting” makes local conference calls more fun via feathers and fur.

By August Howell / Half Moon Bay Review

Half Moon Bay’s Sweet Farm has developed an unusual fundraising idea which involves getting a unique participant involved in your meeting (bottom center of the grid). (Photo courtesy Sweet Farm via HMB Review)

Like most businesses and nonprofits in the Bay Area, the Coastside’s Sweet Farm has shut its doors to visitors in the wake of COVID-19 fears. There are no tours, events or volunteers there, which means there are no donations either, and that would be a problem for most nonprofits. The farm has, however, come up with a way to grow some publicity online.

With a program it calls “Goat-2-Meeting,” Sweet Farm is allowing companies or individuals to request one of the farm’s cows, pigs, llamas, chickens or turkeys call in for their next conference call. (Those interested in booking an animal can inquire via email at [email protected].)

“We wanted to find a way to still connect with our community and teach people about the animals and what we’re doing here at the farm,” Sweet Farm co-founder Anna Sweet said.

Sweet explained that, while the format and engagement is different, the farm’s mission of educating communities on animals and environmental sustainability is the same as it always has been.

Last week, one of Sweet Farm’s llamas spent time with a start-up’s engineering meeting and a cow participated in a meeting organized by a Fortune 500 company. Sweet explained the concept on the farm’s Facebook page. The next morning, she awoke to more than a dozen requests.

Sweet Farm’s Facebook post about Goat 2 Meeting quickly garnered attention. (Image via Sweet Farm’s FB)

Sweet and her husband both work in the tech industry and they know that conference calls can sometimes use a little spark. Whether it’s tuning in to Zoom conference calls, taking customers on virtual tours of the farm or an evening of video happy hours with friends, Sweet says there is an online demand.

“We realized there are lot people like us who could use a bright spot in their day, in particular on these back-to-back video conference calls,” Sweet said.

The time and pricing for the animals vary, but generally Sweet asks corporate meetings for a $100 donation. Virtual tours can be anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the length of the tour. Sweet explained it’s not just working adults who are enjoying the calls and tours. A local fifth-grade class may get a full online tour in the near future.

“People are engaging with it in different ways,” Sweet said. “Which is really cool to see.”

Follow Sweet Farm on Instagram and Facebook

SweetFarm.org

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the Half Moon Bay Review. We are re-publishing it here with their permission.

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