CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Hundreds of thousands of people visit farms across the Commonwealth each year, and students are learning where their food comes from.
Claire Hostetter was one of the dozens of students at Sinkland Farms learning about farming on Friday.
“I got to see some animals,” Claire said.
From seeing sheep to goats and pigs, kindergartners and their grandparents were getting the experience of a lifetime.
“They have a lot of animals you can go through and pet and whatnot,” Carolyn Hostetter said.
Susan Sink, the owner of Sinkland Farms, said many people come out to learn about life on a farm, some can enjoy hayrides and others can get educational opportunities like learning where their food comes from.
“Education is very important to me particularly with agriculture because the children that we bring to Sinkland farms many of them have no idea that their food comes from farms,” Sink said.
The idea is to promote tourism.
“It’s coming to a farm learning and being entertained,” Sink said. “Agritourism makes good sense because agriculture is the number one economic driver in our state, with tourism being second, there you have it agritourism.”
“Agritourism is a huge part in what we do in Virginia,” Joe Guthrie with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
State leaders said agritourism equates to a multi-billion-dollar industry in the Commonwealth.
It’s crucial for farmers like Sink, who are dealing with inflation.
“70 billion dollars a year in economic impact, agriculture in Virginia is so big and so diverse and Duke that’s just one of things I love about being commissioner of agriculture in Virginia,” Guthrie said.
Below is a list of places that promote agritourism:
- Jeter Farm- 5635 Grandin Rd Ext, Roanoke, VA 24018
- Beaver Dam Farm - 13561 Lee Highway Buchanan 24066
- Spikenard Farm - 401 Hideaway Lane, Floyd, VA 24091
- Woods Farm - 2921 Naff Rd, Boones Mill, VA
- Layman Family Farms - 1815 Mountain View Church Rd., Blue Ridge, VA 24064
- Peaks of Otter Winery and Orchard - 2122 Sheep Creek Rd., Bedford, VA 24523
- Roanoke City Farmers Market - Roanoke City Market, Market Square SE, Roanoke, VA 24011
- Ikenberry Orchards - 2557 Roanoke Rd., Daleville, VA 24083
- Homestead Creamery - 7254 Booker T Washington Hwy., Wirtz, Virginia 24184