Hear Us Roar
May 2020 Issue
Photography by Mike Force Photography
Hear Us Roar
Diana Scarborough & The Volunteers at
The Farm at Oatland North Animal Sanctuary
St. Simons Island
Pictured Above (L to R): Sally, Bree, Jerry, Judy, Amiah, Hugh, JoJo, Elissa, Diana, Carolyn, Noelle, Cheri, Jackie
Editor's Note: Fun Fact—yes, we know our fabulous group was photoshopped together! They are following the rules and socially distancing so our wonderful photographer, Mike Force improvised and took each person's picture individually.
Riding east on Cannons Point Road, along a natural woodland path in northern St. Simons Island, you realize you’re in for a treat as you approach The Farm at Oatland North. This picturesque animal sanctuary, set among giant oaks, with its horse barn, corrals and pens is one animal haven we think Mother Nature would certainly approve. Meet Diana and Volunteers at The Farm…
Diana, tell us about the family who created The Farm at Oatland North…
Previously, the land was leased as a riding and boarding stable as part of the Murrah family farm. In 2003, Barbara and Bascom Murrah returned to St. Simons. Barbara and her daughter, Natalie, began saving animals, beginning with a horse named Lightning and two cows: Amanda and Panda. Soon The Farm became a haven for Little Saint Simons Island retired trail horses, and then began receiving abused and neglected farm animal cases from Glynn County Animal Control.
What is The Farm’s motto and mission?
Our mission is to provide a forever home for retired, abused and unwanted farm animals. We provide the community a place to learn about animals—their care, and wellbeing.
In 2012 The Farm transitioned into a not-for-profit 501(c)3 charity. A governing board was formed, which allowed us to collect funds and supplies to sustain The Farm. Barbara was so proud of this accomplishment, but sadly she passed away in 2013. We are proud to keep her mission going.
What types of animals call The Farm home?
Presently we have 11 horses, five goats, 12 cats and two very cute pigs named Scarlett and Clark Gable. Our animals get to live their lives on their terms, enjoying care-free days in such a beautiful place.
Surely there have been some memorable and humorous moments…
Henry, age 32, is our oldest horse. He’s allowed to roam the property. Henry doesn’t break out, he likes to break in. He’s been found inside the barn office in the mornings! Jackpot, a horse born here, likes to break out of his stall and paddock. Being the funny guy he is, he then lets his buddies out of their stalls and paddocks. Some mornings when we arrive, everyone has been let out by Jackpot! We are always laughing at something—either the animals or ourselves.
Tell us about the volunteers...
The Farm is totally staffed by volunteers, who provide love and care for the animals by feeding, grooming and cleaning. They also help maintain the property and do the fundraising and social media. We have a variety of chores to keep everyone happy and busy.
How do you operate The Farm?
We are 100 percent funded by donations. We feed our animals high quality feed recommended by our vets based on each animal’s need. We also provide them with proper vet care, including required vaccinations, blood work and prescription medications. And our farrier, Dennis, comes every six weeks to trim horse hooves.
What can people experience at The Farm?
We are open to the public most Sundays 2 to 4 p.m. and for small groups by appointment. Visitors can meet and greet the animals and sometimes even groom a horse, or play cards with the goats.
What valuable resources does The Farm need right now?
We would love to find a grant writer who could help us tap into much-needed funding. We would like to have local businesses or organizations do service projects for us.
Thank you for a glimpse of your teams’ natural compassion for farm animals.
What else are you all “Neighing and Roaring” about?
Younger visitors! During the summer months we have middle school mission groups from all over the country come to The Farm. These kids learn about the animals, learn about our local St. Simons community and get to see how charity works. And, we all say a big “Thank You” to all heroes who have kept our families and community going through this pandemic.
Compassion and Care: