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Fall agri-tourism in full swing

Guest feature: Julie Oberg is the Communications Director for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Follow along with MDA @MdAgDept and Maryland’s Best @MdsBest.

Crisp, autumn days are here and Maryland’s fall agri-tourism season has started. Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder encourages all Marylanders to get out on a farm to experience first-hand the state’s rich selection of agricultural recreational opportunities.

Maryland’s farmers offer a variety of fall activities as a low-cost way for families to spend time together outdoors. October is the perfect time to experience the fun of selecting your own pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, getting lost in a corn maze, taking a hayride, or attending a fall festival. Depending on the farm, visitors may be able to enjoy a variety of other activities including farm stands, scarecrow-making, petting farms, pony rides, live music, decorations, fresh apple cider, home baked goods and more.

“The fall is a wonderful time for families and friends to get outside and onto a farm,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “Agritourism is a booming industry here in Maryland. Visiting a farm is great fun for all ages and supports our family farmers too. On-farm tourism operations look great and are ready for visitors with their fresh products and lively activities.”

According to the most recent agricultural census completed in 2012 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, there are 33,161 agri-tourism farms nationally with revenues totaling $704 million. In Maryland, there are 307 agri-tourism farms with revenues of $7.2 million.

For a list of farms offering fall activities, visit marylandsbest.net.

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Julie Oberg

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