Proud to be a Farmer: Attracting visitors to farms

Updated: Jun. 6, 2019 at 7:31 PM EDT
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REGISTER, Ga. (WTOC) - Few people grow up on a farm or know about farming, even here in Southeast Georgia.

A new statewide program from Georgia Farm Bureau hopes to get more people visiting sites this summer.

Bobby Colson doesn’t get many visitors at his honey operation, B&G Honey, but he’s seeing more of them now that he’s listed in the Georgia Farm Bureau Farm Passport.

“Had one guy last week. He was from Atlanta, going to Savannah. Came by on his way along I-16. He had his passport book and pulled in here,” Colson said.

“It’s good for people to travel around the state of Georgia to see different farms, and see where the food comes from,” said Luke Thompson, Thompson Produce.

They are two of 67 farms listed in the passport. Kelly Thompson from Georgia Farm Bureau made the list to include a wide variety of operations spread around the state.

“There are no two farms alike and they all sell different things at different times, so when you visit, it’s not like you’ve seen all of Georgia agriculture,” Kelly Thompson said.

When you visit a site, you get your passport stamped. You mail the book to Kelly at the end of the season. The more places you visit, the more prizes you can win - from T-Shirts and tumblers to a big dinner.

“If you visit 20, you get a behind the scenes Farm to Table dinner where you eat dinner with a farmer and can ask them questions,” she said.

For growers, its a chance to use Farm Bureau’s following to bring agri-tourism to their operation.

“They’ve got the expertise and the resources that we don’t have and probably never will,” Colson said.

“We always hope for more business, but we also like meeting the people and have them come by and meet us,” Luke Thompson said.

That visit helps customers understand the pride they have in being Georgia farmers.

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