Agritourism Bus Tour set for Aug. 31 in central Iowa

Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief
Mary and Maury Wills pose for a photo at Wills Family Orchard in 2020. The orchard will be one of four stops on a central Iowa agritourism bus tour on Aug. 31.

Small farmers and acreage owners who want to learn more about agritourism and specialty crops can register to attend a bus tour on Aug. 31.

The inaugural event will feature four operations in central Iowa, with presentations by farm and agribusiness owners and specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The first stop is Brewer Family Farms, in Dallas Center, where Emily Wynn and family will explain how they produce and market value-added meats. From there, the tour goes to Wills Family Orchard, of Adel, where the Maury Wills family will explain their orchard and fall festival activities.

More:'This is their orchard': Wills family shares orchard experience with Dallas County

The final two stops include Upstream Gardens and Orchard, of Altoona, where Chris and Laura Gorman will discuss their u-pick farm and the fruits and vegetables available. Lastly, the tour will visit the Iowa Flower Farm, of Maxwell, where Ross and Cheri Sorensen will discuss their u-pick flower farm and special face creams that are made from their flowers.

“The tour is designed to provide people the chance to see different ways of diversifying within the agricultural landscape,” said Kendra Meyer, program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach's Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program. “The tour will provide on-farm demonstrations from farmers who represent a wide array of agriculture and agritourism.”

Resources discussed will be financial sustainability through on-farm business and marketing, on-farm conservation practices, community engagement and risk management best practices.

The tour bus will leave Ames at 8:30 a.m. and will return to Ames at 4 p.m. Seating is limited to one bus, so participants should register as soon as possible.

The bus tour is based on work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through a grant received through the North Central Region SARE program.