Support our efforts to give these animals a name instead of a number.
A place where farm animals find zen living as someone, not something.
Where farm animals will go after being rescued from cruelty situations, receive necessary vet care, and live happily ever after grazing in green fields.
Farmaste's Leadership Team
Our founder, Kelly Tope, has had a passion for animals since she was a young child. She would often show up late to family events because she was rescuing a turtle or herding cows off the road. She spent over twenty years recruiting new franchises for numerous brands, but ultimately decided that she would be happier self-employed as an executive recruiter.
The combination of her years of business acumen and passion for animals ultimately motivated Kelly to found Farmaste Animal Sanctuary. As a vegan, she became acutely aware of the cruelty placed on farm animals. She decided that she wanted to push back against the societal belief that farm animals were products instead of living beings. Kelly wanted to create a place that perfectly mirrors the stereotypical images we have of farm animals. They deserve to live free in those peaceful green pastures with chickens roaming the farm pecking at the ground. She is excited to share her vision of this beautiful place with everyone.
Shannon Kehle-Forbes joined Farmaste's Board of Directors in 2017 and joined Farmaste's leadership team as Vice President in early 2018. A lifelong animal lover, Shannon has volunteered for animal rescues for the past twelve years. She served as a dog foster, and later as a dog foster coordinator for a Twin Cities companion animal rescue. She became interested in farmed animal rescue shortly after transitioning to veganism about four years ago. She is particularly interested in its role in changing how people think about their diets and the treatment of farmed animals in the agricultural industry. Shannon completed a Shelter Projects Internship at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY in November 2016 where she learned the basics of farmed animal care. Upon returning, she has applied what she learned through volunteering in animal care at two local sanctuaries. Since joining Farmaste's leadership team, Shannon has continued as an animal caregiver. She also spearheads many of Farmaste's administrative tasks - including fundraising, event planning, and social media. Outside of her farm sanctuary life, she leads a research group examining how to make psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder more effective, and spends time with her husband and her senior rescue dog Sadie.