Plan Your Agritourism Staycation

Lee Fields  |  7/21/2016 4:03:51 PM

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Vacation is all about relaxing and having time to enjoy the simple things in life. If your summer has been a busy one following your children and grandchildren to sporting events, then you are probably ready for a “staycation.”

Farm tours are a great choice for a staycation because today the majority of families do not have a connection to the farm. They provide an opportunity for youth and adults to learn about the origins of the food they eat and the fiber they wear. Farm tours are part of a larger effort known as “agritourism.”

Agritourism is a business venture on a working farm, ranch or agricultural enterprise that offers educational and fun experiences for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner. In Louisiana we have 80 agricultural venues that have been certified through the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Certified operations have completed a plan of operation listing possible safety risks and their proposed plan to minimize those risks. These farms devote much time to keeping you safe. Once approved by the LSU AgCenter, the plan is forwarded to the Louisiana Department of Ag and Forestry for certification. A listing of certified operations that are open for tours is now available on our website: Click on the article entitled, “Farm Tours Certified by the Louisiana Department of Ag and Forestry” for a list of those farms that are open for tours.

One of the agritourism venues featured on the website is Keachi Acres, in Keachi, just 40 minutes from Shreveport. Keachi Acres offers a variety of lodging possibilities. They have two summer cabins families can rent for overnight stays and they also have an air-conditioned cabin perfect for a family of 4-5.

At Keachi Acres you can go fishing in huge pond just steps away from your lodging or you can have morning coffee on your front porch overlooking the pond. A morning or afternoon walk through the forest is a great way to begin or end any day on the farm.

For the animal lovers there are dogs, chickens and horses. Keachi Acres has plenty of land for horseback riding adventures through pastures and along logging trails. The trees are marked with their names and are part of the Louisiana Natural Areas Program. Visitors can feed the chickens and collect the eggs for their morning breakfast.

For the gardener, Miss Mary has an organic garden that she tends. The garden always has an abundance of fresh vegetables. Teaching your family how to harvest, prepare and cook fresh vegetables is another way to introduce your family to proper nutrition. If you are renting the cabin you will have access to a kitchen.

So, treat your family to a slow paced staycation close to home that provides opportunities to reconnect with nature, farming and family. You will make memories for a lifetime.

To learn more about agritourism in our state and how you can begin your own agritourism operation, contact: Dora Ann Hatch, Agritourism Coordinator, with the LSU AgCenter.

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