A New Livestock Facility for Our Animals!

Mount Vernon’s livestock program is one of our true jewels that displays Washington’s farming prowess.  We run a top-flight, nationally-recognized rare and heritage breeds program that has grown considerably in the past 25 years. 

Because Mount Vernon accepts no government support, we rely on donations from generous individuals and institutions to continue our 150-year record of leadership in the historic preservation field.  With your support, we can build a new livestock complex and better care for our beloved farm animals, while giving our visitors the most authentic 18th-century farm experience possible!

Our  farm animals have become an integral educational and interpretative tool for Mount Vernon’s mission.  We care for more than 100 animals, and our visitors see many of the same breeds that were common here some two centuries ago. Livestock also helps our more than one million annual visitors understand a working 18th-century plantation.  Cattle, oxen, horses, and mules can be seen grazing in pastures or working the fields—plowing, harrowing, pulling carts, or treading.  Hog Island sheep are shorn, and the wool is processed into yarn.  Baby lambs and piglets are born each spring, and their antics enchant staff members and visitors of all ages.

Most of our animals are rotated through pastures and display paddocks across the estate.  But at some point, they all pass through Mount Vernon’s barn facility—the unseen epicenter of our livestock program.  There, animals are groomed, prepared, and harnessed for the day’s interpretation.  Horses and mules are fed in the stalls.  The barn also serves as an infirmary for all breeds, where animals can be nursed back to health.  

Help Us Build a New Livestock Facility

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