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 the 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 Yas ‘s Alpaca Farm in Garden City (be sure to say hi to their guard llama, Ms. Manners), 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. Also check out Missouri Wineries and Farmers Markets.
Written by Barb Brueggeman