By Julie Vrazel

Milk comes from a cow, a loaf of bread starts in the field and farmers work every day.

Agritourism–the intersection between agriculture and tourism–is a growing trend fueled by you, the consumer, having an interest in learning more about the food you eat. There are agritourism locations across the state–farms and ranches that offer tours, corn mazes, wineries and more–just waiting for visitors.

The allure of the farm remains strong and the fall season offers many opportunities to dive into outdoor activities. Hay rides, picking the perfect pumpkin, fishing and strolling through the fields are just some of the fall attractions of life on a farm. And if that’s not enough, friendly farm animals are ready to greet those who visit.

And you’re never too old to visit a farm, because all ages can participate in various activities that help connect the dots on common questions, such as how food is grown and animals are raised.

Ask questions about the square bales used for the hay ride, the pumpkins in the patch and the corn grown for consumption, as well as the maze you try to find a way through. These are prime opportunities to strike up a conversation with the farmers and ranchers responsible for growing the food that feeds America.

Family farms, like mine, depend on the income generated from our operations–whether it’s corn, cattle, cotton or another commodity. The welfare of livestock is a top priority for farmers and ranchers, and agritourism allows others to see us in action.

So go visit a farm, ask questions and get your hands dirty participating in farm activities. And the farmers and ranchers will be glad to share their stories with you.