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Our Team

Our amazing team of staff members include barn managers, animal care specialists, veterinarians, farriers, vet technicians, and office staff. 

Sara Buys
Executive Director

Sara Buys Photo

Sara has fond memories of toddling around Alasa Farms with her grandparents as a young child. Her love of nature and the outdoors grew with every hour spent on the farm and exploring Second and Third creeks. She fell in love with horses at an early age and trained her first horse at the age of twelve. With over twenty years of experience training and handling horses, plus her desire to be in the great outdoors, she found her way back to the farm to work as our Executive Director. You will usually find her around the horses, in a barn, checking pastures, or working in the office with her farm hand and working barn cat, Bratzy. When she is not at the farm, she is often with her dogs, Pepper the Australian Cattle Dog/German Shorthaired Pointer and Reese, Pit Bull mix or with her horse, Charlie.

Jagger Secor
Grounds Maintenance Technician

Jagger Secor photo

Jagger is certified in conservation and heavy equipment operation through Wayne Technical Career Center. Jagger works part time here at Cracker Box Palace and is also a lawn crew foreman with Landmaster Outdoor Services. Jagger has 7 family dogs, with his personal dogs being Gunner and Nellie. Jagger can be found around the farm working on the grounds and maintenance of the farm, harvesting hay and working on equipment. When he’s not busy with the upkeep of the farm, he can be found with his favorite horse, Johnny Cash.

Katrina Buys has been heavily involved with Cracker Box Palace since 2017. Katrina spent a few years volunteering at the farm until she started her position as an Animal Care Specialist in 2021. You can mostly find Katrina in the horse barn or somewhere else around the farm helping other animals, staff, and volunteers. Katrina spends her time on the farm making sure our farm animals can meet their nutritional and medical needs as well as creating the trust that is needed when our animals are going through rehabilitation. Katrina says "Not only do I love spending time with the animals but I feel that our team is genuinely exciting to work with while we take on these challenging opportunities. Most importantly, I am passionate about the safety and comfort that we are able to provide to our furry friends." When not at the farm Katrina can be found with her German Shepard Chaos, her CBP alumni cat, Arlo and bunny, MJ or with her horses Zip and Lyric.“

Katrina Buys
Animal Care Specialist

Katrina Buys photo

Join our Volunteer Teams 

Volunteer Opportunities 

  • Animal Care

  • Development

  • Events & Fundraising

  • Gardening & Grounds

  • Volunteer Coordination

  • Grants Writing

  • Historic Preservation

  • Trails & Conservation

  • Agriculture

  • Facility Maintenance 

  • Farm Tours

  • Community Outreach

  • Youth Programs

Board Members
Hank Stuart  - Vice-President


Hank has had a highly successful career in finance and investments but locally he is at least as well known for the extensive work he does with non-profits, foundations and charities.  He brings that focus as well as his background in leadership to the Board, where he serves as Vice-President.

Jeff Apfel - Treasurer of the Board


Jeff has always been drawn to history and to a sense of place, both of which the farm has in abundance. After he retired from a career in education and finance, he decided to finally take a closer look at what was happening around the corner, at Cracker Box Palace and Alasa Farms. That was it - he was hooked, joining the Board in 2020.  



Sonia Cliffel - Secretary to the Board


As a successful executive in the equipment leasing industry, Sonia recognizes the need to give back to the community.  Sonia grew up on a working farm and has always loved farm animals.  You can see her around the farm visiting all our resident friends, especially Piggie Smalls, or giving tours to the countless children that visit our farm.  Sonia joined the board in 2022 and her passion is preserving the farm for future generations. 

Barb DeRoo


Barb has been an animal care volunteer with us since 2009 and joined the board in 2022. She is a member of our Volunteer Committee and loves introducing new volunteers to Cracker Box Palace. Barb also enjoys engaging the public in discovering the vision and mission of our organization at community booths and as a farm tour guide. She brings 25 years of administrative service experience to the board.

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