Roberta Wermer: Caring for animals, educating people


October 20, 2017

Most people are familiar with, and use, animal products—milk, meat, eggs, wool, leather—but many have never encountered the animals that produce these products or learned how each species fits into a farm system. If Cognosante employee Roberta Wermer has her way, that lack of familiarity will change.

Wermer has a degree in sustainable agricultural practices and has worked on farms that use draft animals for cultivation. Her passion for animals has led her to six years of service as an animal care volunteer at the Red River Zoo in Fargo, ND.

Roberta Wermer at the Red River Zoo

At the zoo, she spends at least one day a week with zookeepers—providing care, training, and enrichment for the animals. Her work also involves working on construction projects and cleaning exhibits.

For special events, Wermer may help take out the trash, tend to outside groups assisting with the event, or bring an animal out for guests to meet. Introducing visitors to livestock from the zoo’s farm is especially rewarding for her. She loves teaching visitors where food comes from and encourages them to become familiar with the animals by giving visitors an opportunity to “chat” with a chicken or pet a cow.