Agri-tourism growing in Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Agri-tourism growing in Georgia

Agri-tourism is a growing part of Georgia's huge agriculture industry.

State Ag Commissioner Gary Black promoted it today at a south Georgia business that convinces a lot folks to pull off the road and buy some Georgia products. Many of you are familiar with Mark's Melon Patch on Highway 520.

 As part of Agritourism month, Commissioner Black got a chance to experience all that this business offers. The fall hayride is one of many reasons to visit Mark's Melon Patch. Ag Commissioner Gary Black stopped at the roadside business outside Sasser today did as part of his tour. 

" Our hope is just to bring attention to the great places like Mark's here that we encourage people out on their Fall drive. What a great place to invest their afternoons, come bring your family, learn a little bit and take home some great Georgia Grown products," said  Gary Black, Ag Commissioner 

Black also says Agritourism creates jobs and is a huge money maker for the state, " It's probably north of 70 million dollars of Georgia's overall Ag economy." 

He and State Representative Gerald Greene unveiled a proclamation from the governor... declaring October Agritourism month. 

Agritourism is about connecting farmers to the people they serve. 

" Now visitors can come experience the farm. Young people can kind of get a grasp of the importance of ag and have some fun while they're here. That's what Agritourism is really all about." 

Owner Mark Daniel says that's what Mark's Melon Patch is all about. 

"This helps bridge that generational gap, coming out here and seeing all the cool stuff on the farm and actually seeing a working farm,” said Mark Daniel

Georgia Grown is also rolling out it's new online locator, helping tourists find Ag attractions near them. You can find hundreds of Georgia Grown businesses including Mark's Melon Patch on the locator. 

" If you see a farm winery, if you're looking for a place to have a wedding or having a party in the farm setting, if you want to pick your own operation in a local farmers market there are those options within the locator,"  said Black

Black is also visiting Ag attractions in Savannah and Augusta. 

For more information and to find a locator visit http://www.georgiagrown.com


Commissioner Black will also be at the Georgia National Fair in Perry on Thursday. 


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