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WE'RE NOT "KIDDING": Nan's Ranch is open to the public

Nan's Ranch is ran by the Lee County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 9:50 PM, Apr 11, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — After two years of work, Nan's Ranch is officially open to the public.

It's a ranch ran by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, housing animals either donated, bought or rescued. On Thursday, students stopped by to get a first look at the 77 animals at the ranch.

"He's like a big stuffed animal," one student said about a cow. "I think it's awesome and a great opportunity to see all these animals here."

It hosts a variety of animals including goats, cows, pigs, turkeys, ducks, alligators, bearded dragons, quails, ponies, horses and more.

"We have summer camps coming through here," said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

Along with the staff, some of inmates from the Lee County Jail next to the ranch take care of the animals. The inmates helping are ones sentenced to a year or less and were not convicted of a violent crime.

"On a day to day basis they come in, they clean stalls, they muck pastures, brush, wash the animals," said Deputy First Class Angela Taylor.

While they take care of the animals, they also learn valuable skills to help them get on the straight and narrow. They helped build part of Nan's Ranch before the grand opening.

"They get to learn a trade, so possibly when they get out of jail they have something to go to," Taylor explained.

And the name "Nan's Ranch," is special to Marceno.

"Very, very near and dear to my heart," he said.

It's his late-grandmother, Nan. It's a name, a farm, now being shared with the public.

You can only take a scheduled group tour, so if you're interested, call the Lee County Sheriff's Office.