October 2020: Agritourism Month

WHEREAS, agritourism is a niche form of tourism that defines the places where agriculture and tourism connect, including any time a farming operation opens its doors to the public and invites visitors to enjoy their products and services; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s agritourism operations are implementing new safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, enforcing social distancing measures and keeping public health and safety at the forefront, while offering fresh, locally grown food, and safe, family-friendly activities for the public to enjoy as well as welcoming many new visitors who are discovering local agriculture for the first time; and,

WHEREAS, agriculture and tourism are leading economic drivers in Michigan, and agritourism provides ways for farmers to diversify their operations by offering value-added products and activities to protect their businesses against challenging environmental conditions and market fluctuations; and,

WHEREAS, autumn is an ideal time to visit agritourism destinations for a variety of delicious Michigan products at the peak of harvest, including apples and apple cider, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, and squash; and,

WHEREAS, a farm stand, roadside stands, and farmers markets also offer a wide variety of Michigan products, including jams and jellies, ice cream, cheese, pickles, sauces, fresh fruit pies, other baked goods, and much more; and,

WHEREAS, visitors can find an abundance of fun and educational activities at Michigan’s agritourism destinations, including corn mazes, cider mills, U-pick operations, horse riding stables, farm tours, petting farms, hayrides, and farm-to-table dinners; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s dairy farms and on-farm creameries allow families to visit the farm, watch cows be milked, sample products, and experience how dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream are made; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s craft beverage industry offers an opportunity to sample and purchase thousands of Michigan wines, craft beers, hard ciders, meads, and distilled beverages at agritourism destinations; and,

WHEREAS, agritourism opportunities are available in every county in our state, and Michigan Agritourism Month is a special time to acknowledge and recognize the vast, integrated network of family farmers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers who work to ensure a safe and nutritious food supply along with rich farm experiences that are enjoyed by many throughout our state and nation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2020 as Agritourism Month in Michigan.