Every April 10th is National Farm Animals Day, created to raise awareness about the plight of slaughtered and abused farm animals. The special day was created in 2005 by Animal Rescuer, Vegetarian and Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige.

Here in Central New York we are uniquely qualified to appreciate farm animals, due to the many rural areas, farms and animal sanctuaries across the rolling countryside surrounding the Mohawk Valley. There are some great venues to observe and interact with farm animals--both traditional and otherwise. Here are some of the top Central New York spots to hang with the animals, that kids will love:

The Wild Animal Park, Chittenango. Any animal, of course, can qualify as a farm animal. Snow leopard cubs, grizzly bears and zebras, lions, alligators and Bengal tigers abound here. You can also hand-feed carrots to giraffes and buy an all-day bounce house pass for extended family fun.

Animal Adventure Park, Harpursville. Recently famous because of a giraffe named April, who became an Internet star while giving birth, the Southern Tier facility is cash-only, but there is an ATM onsite.

Adirondack Animal Land, Gloversville. Go on a safari-style tractor ride and see 100 animals up-close and a petting area where you can hand-feed baby animals, an aviary with feeding options, plus children’s play areas. Like the Harpursville facility, it's cash-only, but offers an ATM.

Fort Rickey Children's Discovery Zoo, Rome.A family destination where children can pet, hold & feed small animals & view exhibits.

Spring Farm Cares, Clinton. A non-profit sanctuary for cats, dogs, horses and other creatures, located on Route 12.

Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen. This farm is home to more than 300 rescued farm animals.

Utica Zoo, the Parkway in Utica. All sorts of hands-on experiences and creative promotions like Wine in the Wilderness and a nighttime adventure to appreciate nocturnal animals.