Erin Yanz is a true advocate of nature and animals. The founder and executive director of Erin’s Farm, an animal sanctuary located in Hobart that provides an entertaining and educational experience for all, with decades of experience, Yanz dedicates her life to the well-being of all animals and educates others about them.
Prior to founding Erin’s Farm, Yanz was a veterinary technician and special education aid in Chicago for many years. She explained that her past experiences culminated into the role she has today, now working with both animals and children.
Yanz was always interested in helping animals. Growing up in Chicago, people would take injured animals to her to care of. She would tend to their needs and make sure they would fully recover. When she got older, she started an educational program called Nature’s Creatures that taught Chicagoland children about animals. This slowly led to the creation of Erin’s Farm, which very much carries the same philosophy about caring for animals and educating others.
“My position has a lot of back-breaking work, and it sometimes deals with emotional loss, but what gets me through it all is loving what I do for the animals and for the community,” Yanz explained. “There are no days off. My mission requires massive dedication, but I deeply enjoy the experience, so it’s worth it.”
Yanz stated that one of her biggest influences is Dr. Jane Goodall, renowned English primatologist and anthropologist. When she was young, she read all of Dr. Goodall’s books. In fact, Yanz has even met her a few times.
“Dr. Goodall has been an inspiration for me since day one,” Yanz explained. “It’s not only her love for animals that inspired me, but also the way she approached studying and interacting with them. When you invest that much attention and time into working alongside animals like she did, you get a different perspective on them. Therefore, I have a similar approach to my work.”
Yanz further explained her philosophy and love for animals.
“Animals are incredibly complex beings, and sometimes people don’t realize how similar they are to us humans,” Yanz stated. “Understanding how they operate helps me connect with them more on a personal level, which in turn helps us learn how to care for them more. At the farm, we learn just as much about ourselves as we do learning about them. That’s one of my favorite things about my life.”
“I feel good about what I have contributed to the community, to society, and to the nurturing of animals,” Yanz explained. “At the end of the day, in spite of the hard work, I am content with what I have done and how I have positively impacted others.”
Yanz’s favorite animals are horses and alligators, and she has cared for both species extensively, finding them incredibly fascinating to be around. While she does not have much free time, she loves to go hiking, paint, write, and play soccer.
Erin’s Farm is located at 5200 S Liverpool Rd in Hobart. For more information, please visit www.erinsfarm.net.