Once upon a time, we all knew how to grow at least a part of our food. Over the generations, most people have left the land and lost the skill to farm and ranch. Discover how amazing Missouri farmers are – and explore the variety of foods and products they grow, raise and produce: become an agritourist!
Visit Shatto Milk Company in Osborn in Northwest Missouri. They offer 90-minute tours of their dairy, bottling facility and farm by appointment. For a twist on same theme, substitute sheep for cows at Green Dirt Farm in Weston. Their by-appointment tours take you from field to milking parlor to cheese kitchen. They also host farm-table dinners and cheese tasting events.
A stay at the Sycamore Valley Farm Bed and Breakfast in Brunswick offers more than just a cozy place to sleep. You can play - fish, go on hayrides, do crafts - or climb on a tractor to help with the row crops and split wood for a nice fire, complete with roasted marshmallows and hot cocoa.
Years ago, many people raised chickens, and every town had a small hatchery. A tour of Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon is a rare treat, considering there are only about a dozen small hatcheries left in Missouri. And you get to see baby chicks. The best time to visit is March to September.
When you're planning your Show-Me State agritourism adventure, be sure to include a stop at one of our abundant alpaca operations: Ya Ya's Alpaca Farm in Garden City (be sure to say hi to their guard llama, Ms. Manners), Whirlwind Ranch Alpacas in Lebanon, Hasselbring's Harmony Ranch in Concordia and Big River Alpacas in Fletcher - just to name a few. You can enjoy those soft coats and adorable faces and learn about and shop for alpaca fiber products.
Visit an orchard, pick a pumpkin, indulge in a visit to a Missouri winery, treat yourself to a farm-to-table dinner. Agritourism doesn't end on the farm; it's just a place to start.
Other Missouri agritourism attractions:
Hermann Farm, Hermann – tram tours and walking tours of 200-acre historic farm, old homestead with Shire draft horses and Missouri mules.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, Mansfield - pure, natural, non-GMO seeds for your own garden.
Messner Bee Farm, Raytown – beekeeping in the Kansas City metro area, group tours, shop offering honey and beeswax products.
Warm Springs Ranch, Boonville - see where the Budweiser Clydesdales all get their start.
Long Row Lavendar, Wright City - tours offered Wed.-Thu. by reservation only, for groups of 10 or more. Barn and gift store open Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.-4 pm. In bloom June and September.
Written by Barb Brueggeman