APPLE VALLEY, Minn.-- Before the animals make a sound and the crowds arrive at the Minnesota Zoo Andy Anderson is here.
It's hard to miss him.
He's the only zoo volunteer in overalls and a John Deere hat and he's the only one with a laugh that's hard to miss.
At 92 years old, Anderson has a lot of stories to share. "I'm an older farmer and I think they just smell that on me or something," he says.
The retired farmer has been educating zoo-goers about animals for the last nine years. Every day still feels like the first day.
His patience has earned him the title of "goat whisperer."
His kindness has turned visitors into friends. Of of them nominated Andy for the "Eleven Who Care" award after just meeting him once.
She told us his enthusiasm for his work is contagious and inviting.
Sheri White Commers, Director of Volunteer Services at the Minnesota Zoo says, "He has so many friends here at the zoo. As a matter of fact, we even have visitors that come out and ask for Andy who have been here time and time again."
When Andy started at the zoo he was just looking for a nice place to walk around.Little did he know the animals and people would steal his heart and he'd end up volunteering up to 20 hours a week.
"It's the best thing that ever happened to me," Andy says, "I tell people if that's all you want to do is sit around and say things about your aches and pains you soon become and ache and pain to everybody else."