Old McMicky’s in Odessa enjoys success while giving back

After closing in 2005 and reopening eight years later, the folks at Old McMicky’s Farm decided to run things a little differently.

Ralph Zuckerman, the owner of the farm and a homebuilder by trade, pursued the property initially to build homes. Once Zuckerman realized the significance of the farm’s history and character, he wanted to preserve Old McMicky’s Farm and rebuild it himself, opening it back up to the community. With all new animals — save one old horse — and creative events that contributed to the overall success of the community, the farm has remained popular. The new and improved Old McMicky’s has flourished since reopening in 2013, driven by ownership’s love of kids and community.

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Scott Silvest, manager of Old McMicky’s Farm, talks of the intentions for the farm at present and for years to come.

“During the day, our main business is field trips for kids that are in school, and we normally have about 30,000 kids filter in each year. At night, we offer special weddings, Christmas parties, holiday parties, sweet 16 parties. We do everything, and the main reason people are so attracted to our setting is for the beautiful lake front,” Silvest said. “We actually have a wedding this weekend on Saturday, plus more booked for later in the year.”

Tucked into a dead end off Crescent Road, Old McMicky’s Farm is private, but its scenic view stretches alongside the property, creating an open feel. With its numerous red barns scattered throughout the farm encompassing donkeys, chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats and horses, the community is able to see these animals in action during a tour, then later go on a hayride around the farm. When it comes to giving back to the community, Silvest reported on a variety of outreach functions the farm hosts.

“We no longer do baptisms, but we give a lot back to the community. In our ‘A Thousand Kids’ program, where we invite kids who are facing challenges, whether it is mentally, physically, financial, each child gets to enjoy the day on us with no charge whatsoever. From blind children to the physically disabled, they just really enjoy it, and our goal is to do a thousand kids a year,” Silvest said. “When Ralph Zuckerman first reopened the farm, he dreamed of these types of community projects. With everything we feature here at the farm, we like to match it with a community service, like how last year we created a free wedding for a veteran. We fundraise a lot with the help of the community, vendors and local businesses to try to do at least one wedding per year, not to mention the adoption days and adoption reunion days that the farm graciously started a while back.”

Old McMicky’s Farm is located on 9612 Crescent Drive, Odessa.

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