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Paynesville Press - June 23, 2004

Farmyard offers animal experience

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

A Maze'n Farmyard is a place where kids can have hands-on interaction with animals.

Farmyard The new business - located between Paynesville and Eden Valley on Highway 55 - offers kids and adults a farmyard with a dozen animals and a maze where they can literally lose themselves.

A Maze'n Farmyard is owned by Paul and Sheila Haag of Eden Valley and Chuck and Mary Minser of St. Cloud. It features dozens of animals - many of them babies - including miniature donkeys, miniature horses, calves, sheep, goats, llamas, chickens, turkeys, puppies, pigeons, and ducks. Children are encouraged to play with the animals and to learn about how animals live.

Two families own and operate A Maze'n Farmyard. Pictured are (front) Dr. Mary Minser, Garen Minser, Kendra Minser, Noah Haag, Paul Haag, and Kyle Haag; (back) Chuck Minser and Sheila Haag.

In the educational hayloft, groups are given a presentation about dairy cows and how milk gets from the cow to the home refrigerator.

The permanent maze at A Maze'n Farmyard offers more than 19,000 square feet of twists and turns, towers, and bridges. Designed by the owners, the maze is built entirely of posts and lattice panels that can be rearranged periodically to keep the maze challenging for repeat visitors.

The average time for completing the maze is about 30 minutes, said Chuck. Young children seem to have the easiest time finishing the maze, he added. On a few occasions, he's seen adults - laughing hysterically - give up after spending 45 minutes in the structure. It's not unusual for children to help their parents f

ind the way out, he explained. Before starting their new adventure, the Haags and their four children farmed near Eden Valley. Chuck Minser was an electrician in St. Cloud while Mary, a chiropractor, still works in St. Cloud. The Minsers have two children.

A Maze'n Farmyard is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer on Mondays through Saturdays and from 12 noon to 6 p.m on Sundays. Groups are welcome for guided tours and educational presentations.

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