While Jon Stewart's presence during this particular election cycle has been sorely missed, the former "Daily Show" host is enjoying his respite from the spotlight with some grateful company.
Since his retirement late last summer, the 53-year-old has been working with his family to transform their 12-acre property in Middletown, New Jersey, into a safe haven for dozens of rescued cows, sheep, turkeys, goats and other animals. Called Bufflehead Farm, the site partnered with the national animal rescue giant Farm Sanctuary to become the nonprofit's official New Jersey branch.
"We’re getting married! Farm Sanctuary and us, we’re getting married," gushed Tracey Stewart, a licensed vet technician, at Farm Sanctuary's annual gala last October. "We’re going to build new advocates, new curious learners, and new leaders for this very important movement."
Jon Stewart helps transfer a rescued goat named Levi to his new home on his farm in New Jersey. (Photo: The Daily Squeal/Facebook)
While the Stewarts have been keeping their present operations private, it's always been their intention to turn their farm into an education and outreach center. To prepare for that more-public future, it appears that Bufflehead will comprise two properties, the private one at the Stewart's home and a new tract of land they've recently purchased in nearby Colts Neck, New Jersey.
According to The Two River Times, the couple are under contract for Hockhockson Farm, a 45-acre spread with three houses and 12 outbuildings. In planning papers filed with the town, the intention is to use all the buildings for the sanctuary operation, including the renovation of one for a visitor's center. A total of 15 acres would be used to grow crops to feed the animals, which would include "four to six cows, two to four pigs, six to 10 sheep, six to 10 goats, two to four horses and up to 50 chickens."
“Abused farm animals rescued from slaughter houses, kill piles, live markets and roadsides would be housed and rehabilitated at the farm,” the paperwork states. “The animals would live out their natural lives experiencing individual care and compassion by a licensed veterinarian.”
And, you know, free belly rubs from Jon:
The Bufflehead paperwork also states that it intends to create a school curriculum focused on sustainable agriculture, animal care, healthy diets and much more.
"Applicant wants its visitors and customers to know that food does not just arrive on trucks ready for consumption,” the file explains.
Once up and running, it's expected that the operation will employ as many as 15 to 20 caregivers, with four to six people living on the property permanently.
Excited? We are too. While there's no date yet on when we might be able to visit Bufflehead, this latest development makes us even more excited about what the Stewart family is undertaking in New Jersey.