JOPLIN, Mo. — Farm animals stole the spotlight, Saturday, at the Joplin Empire Market.

The market hosted its Goats in the Garden event.

Of course, goats were part of the main attraction.

The Empire Market’s volunteer master gardener says this event is geared toward creating social interaction between humans and animals, which also included chickens, a bunny rabbit, and alpacas.

It’s also an opportunity to teach people, especially younger children, about how to handle the animals.

“There’s a certain way to approach alpacas, and so we try to educate on how to be able to come up to them and be able to pet them and feed them. Also, just the education of the fiber, and how well it is, how nice it is, and the qualities of it and what you can do with it,” said Penny Moore, Owner of Alpaca Fiber Products.

“Everything in my life is stealth education, and so what we’re doing is we’re giving people a reason to come out here. They can see chickens, they can see goats. We’ve got alpacas. There’s a ginormous bunny rabbit here today, Willow. So, maybe if some people don’t get a chance to see animals like this, up close, they can come and see them today, and maybe learn a little bit about the garden,” said Eric Osen, Joplin Empire Market Volunteer Master Gardener.

Osen says work is underway to renovate beds within the Empire Market’s garden space.