About Us

Cherokee Flats was originally Cody's Rabbit Cave and was started by Cody, our then 8 year old son, in 2004 as a 4 H project in McLean County, IL. Since then, we've moved from Bloomington, IL to Rural Farmer City, IL and have added many breeds of rabbits, poultry (2008-2023), fancy rats, fancy mice & a variety of other exotic animals. In 2007, Austin was now old enough to show in 4H and Brian and I were wanting to show in ARBA shows, so we decided to change the name to Cherokee Flats. After years of trying to find the breeds we wanted the most, we finally have it down (we think). Cody and Austin are now adults and living on their own, and while they no longer show rabbits or poultry, they will always be the reason Cherokee Flats exists. Autumn still lives at home and enjoys playing with all the critters here. 


Crystal R. Akey-Smith


Crystal graduated high school in 1995 and is a former barrel racer. She is also the CEO of organization here at Cherokee Flats. She runs all the day to day business and helps families find the perfect pet for them and their children.

She also coaches Autumn's Baseball Team for the Miracle League of Central Illinois at the Miracle Field just behind the Corn Crib in Normal IL and volunteers as a groomer & foster at Pet Central Helps in Normal, IL.

Her hobbies include traveling, spending time with friends and family, exploring new things, and enjoying nature, and her love of house plants is crazy. .

Brian J. Smith


Brian graduated high school in 1989 and is a developer for State Farm Ins in Bloomington, IL. He is also the developer for Who's Due. 

Brian enjoys spending time with his family, learning more about what people need for his app, spending time traveling with his wife.

Cody R. Smith

Cody is now 28 years old and while he no longer lives at the farm, he enjoys a visit from time to time. He moved to Champaign in 2020 and now lives in Savoy, IL. 

Cody is the reason we started Cody's Rabbit Cave (now Cherokee Flats) in 2004. 

Despite not living at the farm, he stops in to visit often and will house sit if we need to leave town for a few days.

His hobbies are video gaming, spending time with friends and family.

Austin A. Smith

Austin is now 25 years old and while Austin no longer lives here at the farm, he enjoys visiting with the critters. Austin is the reason we started raising fancy rats and mice (to feed his 3 snakes)

Austin recently adopted Skylar from Pet Central Helps! in Normal IL and she has become his official Emotion Support Animal (ESA) 

His hobbies are playing video games, walking, hanging out with friends and spending time with family.

Autumn R. Smith

Autumn is now 22 yrs old and LOVES Audrey Hepburn. 

She is the Mini Lop girl in this family and loves her lop eared rabbits. She enjoys helping her mom in the office take care of the exotic animals too.

Autumn graduated HS in 2022 and now spends her days hanging out with the animals here on the farm. She enjoys helping her mom with all the plants that are here as well.

Autumn also plays baseball in the Central Illinois Miracle League in Bloomington, IL. She has been part of Miracle League since 2008, when the Central Illinois league was formed.