County Road 12 - Black Jack Farm

Somewhere between Noah's ark and Doctor Doolittle, there's Black Jack Farm. Nestled on 12 acres of Elmore County red clay, this farm has nothing to do with peanuts or cotton but a steady crop of oohs and ahh's. Debbie Williams, has the story, somewhere out along County Road 12.

"I grew up on a farm." Shelia and Burean Huff still live on a farm."With the cotton, corn, cows and all that kind of stuff." But this farm, isn't what you might think. "We bought one donkey and that's what got us started." says Shelia. What started, was a menagerie of exotic animals. "Lemurs, Bush Babies, kangaroos, wallabys, the foxs. "And then there's camels, sheep, llama's, well, you get the picture. "When I was a child," Shelia explains, "I used to get turtles and snakes and I'm petrified of snakes now but, catch 'em, bring 'em in the house put 'em in little trash cans and scare my mother to death.". Black Jack Farm is a haven for lost animals. "Their kids started back to school and they brought it over two days ago." It's home to the Huff's petting zoo. "We do churches, schools nativities, company picnics anything that anybody wants. We did a birthday party for an 80 year old grandmother and she enjoyed it more than any child we've ever done. So it was a thrill for her." Now Shelia, started with an idea. "I've just got a way with animals. I can do things with animals other people can't do." But her husband wasn't so sure. "When I first mentioned the petting zoo to my husband he said no, so I went behind his back and got the USDA permits got my first job which was Calico Fort seven years ago." The zoo has grown by leaps and bounds since, it's become their way of life. "We get to travel a lot places we probably never would have went." Burean says."and animals we never would have seen." It's a perfect life for the Huffs, loving and raising exotic animals and then sharing them with others. "As long as you do it they love you."

Shelia's favorite animal?  It may surprise you. Donkeys. She says they follow you like a dog and will love you forever.