In 2013 my friend Lois Pajari was in the news because the Dollar Store in Cook, MN had a tragic fire. When I asked if she was going to rebuild, her response was “no, I want to open a petting zoo and connect people with animals.”
Sounded great, albeit a little crazy to me! Fast forward 9 years later and now you see Lois in the news for all the fantastic things that happen at this little farm in the woods.
If you have never been to Cook’s Country Connection, I’d seriously suggest putting it on the top of your to-do list immediately.
The first thing to check out is the history of the farm. 120 acres that have been in the family for over 120 years, homesteaded in 1900 under the Homestead Act of 1862. She will tell you that she “tries to be a good steward of the farm: making sure that she is responsible with the resources that are there.”
The list of animals at this little zoo is impressive from cows to peacocks to ducks, donkeys and miniature horses and cows, llamas, alpacas, and hilarious naughty goats, a fan favorite Chester the Cat, plus many, many more.
There are concerts, farm yoga with goats, fundraisers, ladies’ nights, day camps, and any other new idea she comes up with or is pitched in her direction.
The thing about Lois… if you call her and tell her “I need…” with any of hundreds of things following that statement, she is right there with help and any solutions that she can come up with.
Brainstorming is a specialty of hers and personally, I’ve utilized that numerous times. But, this time we are out of great ideas and need to look to the community for help. (Might I add with GREAT RESISTENCE from Lois).
After years of operation, and much to everyone’s surprise, it was found that the property lines were not accurate, and the driveway to the farm needs to be moved. And, no surprise, this will be a very costly venture. Where the resistance comes in… Lois must ask for help.
Lois Pajari and this farm have given so much to so many. You can often see her traveling with animals to see small children, the young spirited grown ups at area nursing homes, walking the streets with a llama or two just to bring a little joy, and venturing out on a private visit from time to time for those who need it.
She helps us all. Now she needs her community to help her to keep the driveway to the farm open. Which translates to… this amazing little business needs financial help.
If goals are met there will be a private event at the farm for those who were able to give to the GoFundMe in order to share with them the joy the farm brings.
In the event that more funds are raised than needed for the driveway, they will be donated to Cook’s Country Connection for ongoing care for the farm and animals.
Thank you in advance for any support that you can offer whether it be with a donation or a share of the GoFundMe.