Home farm is now on Kline Road, and Jaime Arnett is new head person
BELLINGHAM — After 21 years at Windy Acres Farm, Animals as Natural Therapy has moved to a new location and welcomes Jaime Arnett as new executive director.
In November 2020, as part of a long-term strategic plan, ANT co-founder and former director Sonja Wingard handed the reins over to Arnett. Arnett had first joined the operation in 2015 as a grant writer and in 2019 took over operations and development for the organization.
Arnett brings more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit, government and private sectors. She was an assistant director for a Habitat for Humanity chapter and the administrative executive for the Boundary Fish Company in Blaine. In addition, Jaime also served a short term as an appointed Blaine City Council member.
Under Jaime’s leadership, ANT moved to a new home on Kline Road this past April. The farm is a short drive from Bellingham and sits on 10 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, ANT also welcomed several new herd members including seven horses, a miniature horse, a miniature mule and a goat.
While the location and leadership are new, ANT’s programs and mission remain the same: to improve mental and behavioral health through animal guided programs with special attention to youth and veterans.
The organization helps hundreds in Whatcom County each year heal, build life skills and develop resilience with the help of horses and other animals. Programs are led by 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 toward a brighter future after a challenging year. Through COVID-19 the organization has experienced a 75% reduction in income while also seeing an increased demand for services. Even with the challenge, ANT continues to be hopeful.
“We are so grateful for where we come from and now look expectantly towards where we might go,” Arnett said. “We hope the community will come and grow with us.”
To help ANT finish getting settled into the new space and continue to weather the pandemic, a spring “Stable of Support’’ pledge drive has begun. Community members who 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. Visit www.animalsasnaturaltherapy.org/donate for more information.