Various fall activities bring agritourists to farms
Corn mazes, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms are becoming more popular tourist destinations across the country.
Becky Smith, assistant professor in agricultural economics with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, works with various agritourism businesses around the state. She said each endeavor takes significant planning and effort. She answers the “what’s in it for me” question with one word: revenue.
“We are losing so many family farms every year, but this is a viable way to keep farms in the families,” she said. “One great thing about agritourism ventures is that they are not all alike. Every farm is unique. If operators highlight what they know, it’s not competition. It is more like cooperation.”
Smith said the education component is not always explicit.