MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Now during all those Zoom calls these days, are you hoping to distract colleagues from noticing as your gray roots submerge or your beard grows unruly? Well, what if you added a fresh face to your virtual meeting, maybe one covered in fur or feathers.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
(Laughter) That is the idea behind Goat 2 Meeting from Sweet Farm animal sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
NATE SALPETER: Hey, Steve. Say hi to everyone on the Zoom call.
CHANG: That's Nate Salpeter introducing Steve (ph) the rooster, one of the animals who you can invite to your call. Salpeter and his wife Anna Sweet founded Sweet Farm to educate visitors about the impacts of factory farming.
KELLY: Normally, it is funded by grants and donations that come from in-person activities like tours, corporate events. So when the coronavirus hit...
SALPETER: Sixty or 70% of our revenue has gone out the door. So very quickly, we had to figure out a way that we can still execute on our mission while also driving revenue.
KELLY: So now in exchange for a donation, you can get a virtual visit.
SALPETER: We have Gizmo; he's a miniature Hereford steer. We have a dwarf cow; her name is Magnolia. And then from the goat side, there's a whole gaggle of characters out there.
CHANG: Seattle-based Rebellyous Foods surprised its employees with an animal cameo. CEO Christie Lagally said it was a great way to boost morale.
CHRISTIE LAGALLY: They're very busy animals, it seems like. I'm glad they took time out of their day to meet with us.
KELLY: But beware - if you hear braying or crowing, don't necessarily assume an animal has been added to your work call. Could just be a colleague before they get their coffee.
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