Up close and personal

Up-close-and-pers-Randy-Mc Kee

When it comes to mouth-watering pastries, fresh baked goods and home-grown seasonal produce, few can match the quality, flavor and taste of Hershberger’s Farm & Bakery. Known for its expansive bakery and aisles of fresh produce, Hershberger’s is a destination for many who travel to Amish Country. However, Hershberger’s is much more than just food. The growing business located just west of Berlin is truly a family affair, and according to manager Stephen Hershberger, this family business is expanding again to provide even more quality entertainment for the entire family.

The newest addition is a beautiful expansion on their petting zoo and animal farm, where families can get up close and personal with a whole host of farm animals. Rather than deal with exotic animals, Hershberger’s has opted to focus on presenting farm animals, and the list is extensive. The family raises its own goats, including pygmy, Nigerian, Nubian and Vietnamese pot belly pigs. There are fourhorned Jacob sheep, long-horned Barbados sheep, Texas Longhorn steer, miniature Hereferd cows, mini Dexter milking cows and Scottish Highlander cows with stunning long hair.

There also are horses galore, including Belgian, Percheron, Clydesdales and more. The pony rides are a child-friendly favorite, and patrons can feed carrots to King, the massive 2,900-pound draft horse that towers over pretty much everyone who visits.

The expansive new petting zoo and animal farm was nearly doubled in size to provide even greater opportunities for visitors to have a wonderful Amish farm experience with authentic farm animals. “A lot of people who visit have never sat on a horse or seen or petted many of these animals, and it is a fun, unique experience,” said Hershberger, a thirdgeneration member of the family that has owned and operated this amazing farm since 1986. “We have almost doubled the space devoted to the petting area, and that includes our pony merry-go-round. We have also made a walk-through area where families can take their time in a more peaceful setting and see the animals up close. We have geared it toward comfort and created plenty of space so families can take their time and take it all in.”

The expanded petting zoo includes a new 84-by-120-foot building that enhances the large 50-by-150-foot building already devoted to the animals.

Visitors can now make a day of it at the farm, where they can go shop in the antique and leather goods store, which features an always-changing inventory, or they can pick out some fresh baked goods made from scratch right on site and load up on seasonal fresh produce before taking
the kids to see the animals, where photos will make great scrapbook memories. “We have worked hard to make our farm and bakery as accessible and enjoyable as possible,” Hershberger said.

Hershberger’s Farm & Bakery continues to be a must-see destination in Amish Country for the entire family. It is located at 5452 state Route 557, Millersburg, Ohio.