One of the many reasons folks come to Linvilla time and time again is to visit our animals. They are loved by so many people here on the farm, but for the past 36 years their main caretaker has been Stew.
Stew came to the farm in 1986 because he purchased chickens at an auction, but they turned out to be roosters. Stew did not want roosters at home, so he came down to the Farm and talked to Steve and Paul Linvill. Steve and Paul told him they really didn’t have the space to take on extra birds at the time, especially because Jimmy, the caretaker for the animals was leaving at the end of October. Stew went home that night still wondering what to do with his roosters. The next morning, he came back to the farm and asked Steve and Paul if he could take over for Jimmy. They said yes and on November 1st, 1986, Stew (and his roosters) came to the farm.
Stew has always been interested in birds, but particularly hatching. When Stew was 12 years old, he bought a dome incubator with one light bulb and hatched his first egg. Now, he looks forward to hatching every spring.
Every day at 5:30 am he comes to the farm to care for the animals. Over the past 36 years Stew has only taken about 6 days off. He has memories of Christmas mornings spent with the animals before heading to family functions, and times when he had to move mountains (or piles of snow) to get here.
On Friday, Stew will be stepping back from his full-time caretaker roll. Stews’ dedication to the animals on the farm is immensely appreciated and he will be missed dearly. He will still be around tending to his birds, but starting Friday our horse, sheep, goat, and deer friends will have a new caretaker!