About Us

Who Is Rosie?

Three weeks after Michele, Craig, and their children first moved to Maryland in late 2020, they rescued a beautiful golden retriever named Rosie, for whom the farm is named. Rosie came from a traumatic past in a backyard breeding operation. Watching her recover from trauma and blossom into a bright, joyful and loving dog was inspirational and is exactly the type of message we want the Rosie's Farm Sanctuary to convey. With love and compassion, we all have the capacity to heal and flourish.


meet our amazing team

The Faces Behind our Success

We Couldn’t Do It Without Them

Michele Waldman

Founder & President

Founder and President of Rosie’s Farm Sanctuary.  Michele is a licensed Psychotherapist, focusing on trauma and relationship issues.  Michele graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies, hence her love of nature and ecology. She received a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), in San Francisco, and a Masters in Latin American Studies with a focus in International Marketing from UCLA. Michele also trained with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Michele was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and spent her childhood in Australia.  She has worked and lived in 40 countries around the world.  

Michele is deeply involved with animal activism and animal rights.  She was first made aware of the suffering of animals in the food industry by PETA when she was a student at UC Berkeley. She became a vegetarian right away and became vegan later in life – after learning about the atrocities of the dairy and egg industries.  

Michele started her journey in animal activism by volunteering at animal sanctuaries in California and helping to rescue calves from the dairy industry. It was her lifelong dream to open an animal sanctuary. 

I used to cry myself to sleep at night about the treatment of animals on the planet. I would see countless images of animal faces in my mind and mentally replay the videos I had seen of animals locked up in crowded farms, being slaughtered in front of each other, and of babies being ripped way from their mothers in the dairy industry. I honestly felt like I was going to break apart from the pain. It got scary for a while because I lost all sense of joy in the world - and I have always considered myself an optimistic person. Being a licensed psychotherapist, I asked myself what I would I advise my clients to do this in a situation like this? I did a lot of inner work to find my answer. I would advise them to let their hearts break. It was in the utter breaking of my heart that stronger tissue was formed. This new heart tissue called for me to start living in the solution. I started volunteering at different animal sanctuaries. I increased my donations to causes that were important to me. I started posting about animal rights. I helped to rescue 2 calves from the dairy industry. I made other vegan friends. I introduced my non-vegan friends to plant-based products. I covered the back of my car with bumper stickers! Most importantly, I started fantasizing about opening an animal sanctuary. I had no idea how I was going to make it happen….but deep down, I knew I would. This brings me to the present. Rosies Farm Sanctuary is a new sanctuary. It is a dream just becoming a reality. You are invited to come dream with us and help us make an impact in this world. You are invited to come live in the solution. We welcome donations, volunteers, interns, ideas and friends.

Craig Waldman


Craig’s day job is as co-chair of Jones Day’s global Antitrust & Competition Law Practice.  Craig has more than 20 years of experience representing companies in antitrust government investigations, and private litigations, and counseling them on how to manage antitrust risk in daily business activities.  

He has served as an adjunct professor at both Berkeley and Hastings Law Schools, has lectured at Stanford Business School, and has served in numerous roles within ABA Antitrust Leadership.  

In addition to his legal work, Craig is passionate about charitable endeavors.  For over 10 years, he has served on the board of directors of Global Strategies, an international charity whose mission is to reduce early mortality and treat survivors of sexual violence in impoverished and war-torn regions of Africa.

I was an avid meat-eater until November 2019 when Michele, my wife (and co-Founder) cleverly “suggested” I watch the Game Changers documentary.  That movie caused me to commit to being a vegan for a month.  At the end of that month, after feeling much healthier and using the time to open my eyes, mind and heart to the horrific harm that comes to animals, I decided to keep going.  Two and a half years later, I remain a vegan.

Jason Bolalek

Farm Manager & PR Director

Farm Sanctuary Director and Director of PR and Marketing, Jason began getting involved in animal rescue in 2019. While living in Vermont he learned the harsh realities of dairy production.  Coming face to face with these truths motivated him to start Destination Liberation, an organization that rescues, transports, and homes calves (mostly male) that are deemed waste products by dairy farms.  

Jason has to date rescued and transported around 75 calves to sanctuaries and private homes all over the United States.  Jason’s story and liberations have been featured by news organizations The Dodo, NowThis News, We Animals Media & The Guardian.  

We are so happy to have him here at Rosie’s, with all his passion and dedication, to help us save lives as well as educate.

I am extremely passionate about my mission and hope to inspire others by creating a thriving, diverse community where we can connect and learn from each other. I believe that empathy functions like a muscle and that we can create a better world by encouraging and fostering it to grow in others around us. My goal at Rosie’s is to connect the public with the animals (individuals) that they are intentionally being disconnected from by the industries that exploit them, but to create awareness about similar systems of oppression, how they are all connected, and how we can work to dismantle them.

Benjamin Waldman

Director of Outreach and Advocacy

Benjamin is an avid animal lover. He started photographing wild animals in Africa when he was 8 years old as well as writing beautiful poems about animals and nature.

He initially became vegetarian at 8 years old but once he learned about the plight of animals in the dairy industry, he became vegan. He was instrumental in the rescue and liberation of 2 dairy calves. Benjamin is a musician and is currently in 6th grade.

In 2nd grade, I had thoughts of becoming vegetarian, encouraged by my classmate who was vegan, and my Mom. It was not until my family and I took a trip to South Africa in April 2018, where the lush beauty and diverse animals inspired me to commit to becoming vegetarian.  One year later, I took a tour of sanctuaries in California with my mom. That trip showed me of the distress and pain that not only the meat industries were causing to farm animals, but also the dairies.  I became vegan because of what I learned in the sanctuaries. I also got inspired by them to help save the lives of two cows, Simon and Tony, who both currently live in California, happy to be free. 

Meet Our Family

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