Benton Family Farm in Walton is a nonprofit, family-operated and family-friendly farm that takes pride in educating their visitors—young or old—on all things agriculture. Throughout the year, they host numerous school field trips, a summer day camp and birthday gatherings, and they even make their rounds through the community on their mobile education trailer. Although they’re pretty booked up for the fall, their property will open to the public this October for a weekend of educational fun. I spoke to Mary Benton to get the whole scoop.

To start, could you tell me a little bit about the story behind Benton Farm?

My grandfather came here back in the early ‘40s. So it’s a fourth generation, family working farm. About 29 years ago when the tobacco base started getting cut, and mom and dad got to where they couldn’t handle 100 head of cattle, they were told, ‘Hey, you need to change up, you need to grow pumpkins and Christmas trees. That’s going to be the thing to do,’ and so they did. They were the first farm in Northern Kentucky to have kids out. The first year started at about 90 to 100 kids. They fixed the wagon up and drove ‘em out to pick a pumpkin. As it developed, the animals came to be a part of it. We sheer sheep, milk cows, feed the animals, kids get to do all these things. That’s the way they wanted to keep it. They didn’t want to become commercial.

As time went on, especially in the last five or six years, we saw more of a trend where everyone was doing commercial things—bouncy houses, face painting, things like that. That’s something that they never wanted to be. They wanted to teach people and show them what a real farm looks like.

Tell me about the mobile education trailer. What type of on-the-go agriculture education does that offer?

It’s set up for baby chicks, a regular chicken, a rooster. We bring a baby goat, a baby lamb, the milking goat. All the kids get to milk the goat. 

And then we take a sheep along and as long as we can get the electricity, we bring a long cord and hook our sheers up and they actually get to sheer. We do a honeybee talk, too. Basically, the mobile trailer brings as much education as it can to you.

Tell me about the weekend in October that Benton Farm will be open to the public. What can families expect to do there?

This year, we are going to open up a weekend to introduce our new educational center. It will basically be a fall day at the farm… It’s going to be either the 13th or the 21st [of October]. It may be either one or both of those weekends. You’ll be able to visit a real working farm—sheer a sheep, milk a cow, pet a baby calf, pet a baby sheep, hold a baby goat. You can wander one area to the next and you’ll be given some sort of educational speech on that area. It might be incubation of eggs, it might be growing pumpkins, you might see how to raise bunnies, you might learn how to trim goat’s feet.

Is there admission?

Yes, there would be admission. But we never charge for 3 and under.

Benton Family Farms is also open to volunteers—experienced or inexperienced! Learn more at

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