It is Agritourism Month in Michigan. Trips to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch add to the economy and have social and cultural benefits, but this year, protecting farmers and other visitors is a top priority.
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell addressed promoting agritourism in the midst of a pandemic, saying, “Agritourism opportunities are available in every county in our state. Our operators are implementing key safety measures to assure the well-being of their customers. We also need visitors to help the agriculture community by following on-farm safety protocols, wearing masks, social distancing whenever possible, washing their hands often, and staying home if they are not feeling well.”
Agritourism includes farmers markets, on-farm markets, wineries, roadside produce stands, on-farm weddings and events, corn mazes and others. October is the peak time for agritourism as it is harvest time and the time when Michiganders traditionally visit local farms.
In the Blue Water Area, Simpson Family Farm, MacCallum’s Orchard, and CornFun Corn Maze Adventure & Pumpkin Patch are listed on the state’s michiganfarmfun.com website.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland