Posts Tagged With: farms

Old McDonald Road Tour and More: Visiting Farms in Nebraska

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.

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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.

Wessels Living History Farm

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)

Kranz Dairy Farm near Lincoln

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!

2013 Dig Deeper Farm Tour

I am sure that I missing many possibilities in Nebraska.  If you know of any more options, please e-mail me at odysseythroughnebraska@gmail.com OR simply post a comment below.

Categories: Agriculture, Frontier Trails, Lincoln, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Day on the Farm

My grandpa was a farmer.  My two uncles have also farmed at various times.  (Three of my great grandpas were also farmers, although I never met any of them! 🙂  )  But I do think that is rather pathetic that my first time ever to ride on a combine was right before I turned 39 years old.  Pretty sad that I waited so long.

Not like I didn’t spend time out on the farm growing up – we were out there several times a year.  I have many memories of going out to “put up” sweet corn (more on that later this week!).  So, I don’t know if we never were out at harvest time or if my uncles were too busy working to drive a girl around.

Last fall I asked my uncle if I could remedy that.  So, we went out, picked up my aunt and met him at his nephew’s farm, and we all took turns riding along inside the combine.  Watching the corn be sucked up in the chute was rather cool – I am sure my contained excitement was rather amusing to the farmers who watch this all of the time!

 

 

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I would imagine that riding along in air conditioned combine is a bit different than farming once was.  But  while they may be cooler, I do think that the technology has also required longer days.  You can get more done, so you have more fields to do.

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We also went by the homestead and to go see the cows.  Yep, we’re city folk.  My kids liked it all, other than the farm dog that had a bit too much energy for my littler ones.  After the men needed to actually get back to work (we were slowing them down a bit), we headed out to home of my cousin, his wife and kids.  This was the point at which my kids were convinced that maybe we should relocate.

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Especially after they rode on the 3 wheeler around the farm!  I am so thankful that we had family that allowed us to hang out for the day.  (We love you!) Sometime soon I hope to share about some area farms that allow visitors because everyone in Nebraska should get to have a day on the farm.

Categories: Agriculture, Pioneer Country, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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