Carroll Co. takes
a new look at
an old idea to increase tourism
are catching on with local farmer
(June 2006) Did you
know that the average American is at least two generations removed from
the farm? As we see increasing numbers of large, corporately owned farms
and a rise in imported agricultural goods, we need to ask ourselves
how the small farmer can survive?
Unfortunately, many are sold by the younger generations who inherit
the land but dont have the ability or the desire to continue with
a family tradition. Those who are trying to continue the legacy that
their ancestors began have realized that diversification is the way
to survival. This diversification can be adding an additional crop,
or even switching from a less profitable enterprise to something that
has more earning potential. In the last few years, the largest diversification
effort has been in agri-tourism.
Agri-tourism is based on attracting visitors to farm operations. It
may be comprised of businesses, such as crop and animal farm tours,
U-pick operations, wineries, Christmas tree farms, on-site museums and
farm-based retreat centers. In the last few of years, Kentuckys
Departments of Agriculture and Tourism have begun a joint effort to
promote and develop agri-tourism throughout the state. As part of this
partnership, an Agri-tourism Summit was held Feb. 24 at Gen. Butler
State Resort Park. This summit provided information for individuals
who are currently involved in agri-tourism and also for those who are
just getting started. Several local entrepreneurs attended to learn
more about how to develop their business and how to attract visitors.
It is the hope of the Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism Commission that
the information presented at this meeting will help local farmers develop
their businesses so that, in turn, we can help promote it to the fullest
Invaluable resources in Carroll County are still being developed. Local
farmers Carmen and Gordon Venema have opened The Family Fun Farm Corn
Maize & More. Along with several other local agriculturalists, the
Venemas are also members of the Riverview Farmers Market, where farm
fresh produce is sold to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the
spring, summer and fall.
Robert Sand and Junior Welch have an on-going cattle operation with
Mulberry Meadows Farm, a production facility with the potential of a
1,000 head Angus breeding operation. Tours are available of the farm
through the Visitors Center for individuals and groups.
The River Valley Winery, owned by Vicky and Krosi Georgiev, began growing
grapes on a family farm several years ago. Krosi, whose family has been
in the wine-making business for generations, lent his expertise, and
the result is a perfect blend. Winner of three Bronze Medals from a
2004 international competition, the Georgievs have certainly added to
the flavor of Carroll County.
Another venture is the Adcock Farms Vintage Tractors & Farm Implements
Museum, family owned and operated by Marcella and Lawson Adcock. Featured
in Byron Crawfords Louisville Courier-Journal column, the Adcocks
have made a name for themselves by preserving history. At their farm,
you can tour antique tractors and learn about the history of the Adcock
family and farm. Also on site is a cabin that dates back to the 1800s,
and the family plans to restore this building so it may be toured in
Also in its early stages is the Mystyk River Farm Executive Meditation
Retreat Center, owned and operated by Marjorie Bowers and Garnet Worthington.
Set atop Kings Ridge, this farm features Arabian horses and meditation
trails. A spa retreat is being added and should be completed this year.
With a spectacular view of the Ohio River Valley, Mystyk River is a
relaxing retreat for locals and visitors alike.
On behalf of the Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism Commission, I encourage
you to tour the local countryside and see what you may have forgotten.
Get back to the basics and learn something new about your community,
and perhaps even yourself.
Sarah Oak is the executive director of
the Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism Commission. For more information
about these agri-tourism ventures and others, call her at (502) 732-7036
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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