Has this week’s farm nostalgia made you want to visit one of your own? You must want to be an agritourist. I found out that agritourism is a growing business, especially as people continue to move away from farms and into towns and cities. We are more separated from the land than we used to be.
Nelson Farm in Merrick County, NE (picture source: Wikipedia Commons)
Nebraska does have several agritourist opportunities. You can actually go to Pawnee County and visit two different sustainable farms if you sign up for one of the suggested Nebraska farm and ranch tours. The other two tour possibilities involve visiting a Niobrara elk and buffalo ranch. (And yes, while both often involve livestock, there is a BIG difference between being a farmer and a rancher!) You can choose to stay at guest ranches across Nebraska the next time you need overnight lodging (as opposed to a hotel!)
If you long for bygone days, you would enjoy visiting Wessel’s Living History Farm just south of York, Nebraska. While admission is charged, the experience seems to be educational and entertaining, with explanation given as to how farming has changed over the course of the last century. Here is a description of the experience (directly from their website.
The 145-acre farm now features the home David Wessels shared with his brother. It also features a red, timber frame barn, corn crib, machine shed, garage, chicken coop and a large windmill typical of the 1920′s. These structures were chosen to begin the “living history farm” experience. To the south, there is a modern tractor display building with many of the tractors, stationary engines and combine that Dave Wessels restored. Surrounding the buildings is a modern farm operation that is still producing crops.
Another former farm with a touch of history is located in Nebraska City. Arbor Day Farm has a conservation focus. While they grow, they want to sustain the land. Not exactly a traditional farm, but you can definitely have some agricultural experience.
Prairieland Dairy (tours are available for $2/person – reservations required other than for their annual dairy days each summer)
Farmstead First (2 small family farms combine forces – they especially work with making cheese and other organic products)
I found about this last opportunity from a blog reader (thanks!) Love the concept of eating food that is grown locally in Nebraska!
I am sure that I missing many possibilities in Nebraska. If you know of any more options, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org OR simply post a comment below.