Farm adventures at Frying Pan with Jocelyn Kammer

Jocelyn Kammer takes a selfie with her favorite goat, Amera.

Courtesy of Jocelyn Kammer

Jocelyn Kammer takes a selfie with her favorite goat, Amera.

Zoe Rosas, Staff Writer

Surrounded by fresh grass and the sweltering sun, junior Jocelyn Kammer greeted the animals at Frying Pan Farm, an activity that had become routine for her. Starting at 11 years old, she would visit the farm every week to volunteer to do farm chores. Always enthusiastic about animals, she looks forward to the days that she spends on the farm. Kammer’s work inspired her to learn everything she could about animals, from dog training to milking cows. 

What made you interested in working with animals?

I’ve always loved animals, even since I was a little kid. My 5th birthday party was at Frying Pan, and that morning at 2 a.m. a baby cow had been born. I remember this moment specifically because while we were on a tractor ride, I was the first one to see her. After seeing how adorable she was, I knew I had to come back. 

Can you tell me about the farm’s history? 

Frying Pan Farm is a working 1920s-1950s farm. All the animals living at Frying Pan would’ve been there back when it was used as an actual farm with most of the same equipment. The farm actually bought a cow from Virginia Tech so obviously we had to name her Hokie. Once, she somehow got out and made it all the way to route 50. It was terrifying but at least she didn’t get hurt or anything. 

What role do you play on the farm?

Before COVID-19 I was a volunteer, which meant I did farm chores like feeding the game birds, chickens and rabbits and other odd jobs. Volunteering lets me enjoy working around the farm, without having too many responsibilities. 

What about this work is significant in preventing animal cruelty?

Absolutely all of it. Some people actually think that milking our cows is abusive which is ironic because if we didn’t, that would be animal abuse. Working with the farmers and animals helps to make sure the animals stay in safe conditions, which always makes me glad about what I do. 

Would you like to pursue a similar career after high school?

I’m not 100% sure how yet but I’m definitely planning to go into a field with animals. Taking veterinary science this year has shown me the possibilities with a veterinary science degree. I’m interested in being a vet tech; I just wouldn’t be able to diagnose, prescribe and perform surgery.

Is there anything you wish you would’ve known in the beginning of your work at Frying Pan?

I didn’t expect how much constant care and attention the animals would need. I’m glad I started volunteering; it’s helped me gain so much respect for farmers and animal caretakers. 

Could you describe a memory at the farm that you will always treasure and explain why?

I remember in the spring, the baby chicks had been born so we always made sure to lock their enclosure to keep them safe. Someone wasn’t careful and left it open. One of the farmers came up to me and two other girls and told us that the baby chicks had escaped and were in the garden. We spent about an hour and a half running around trying to catch them; it was almost impossible.