From the Editor’s Desk: Thoughts from the Latest Edition of Central Florida Ag News

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting the Smith Family Ranch in Lakeland for one of our cover shoots. During our visit, Donna Smith graciously gave me a tour of their property, crops, barn, and diversification projects. You see, they’re not just ranchers. They also offer agritourism each fall by hosting a Cornfusion Crop Maze and Fall Festival that is open to the public. If you don’t know much about agritourism, check out the September 2015 edition of Central Florida Ag News to learn more. This is just one way that growers are diversifying. And this is a common theme with many modern-day farmers.

Dakota Smith, a local gunsmith and manager at Smith Family Ranch in Lakeland, with his dog, Nacho.  Photo by PEZZIMENTI
Dakota Smith, a local gunsmith and manager at Smith Family Ranch in Lakeland, with his dog, Nacho. Photo by PEZZIMENTI

The people who “live the aglife” are not just growing our food. Many of them also have daytime jobs, or other business ventures to help keep the business side of running a farm growing (pun intended). Take Donna’s son, Dakota Smith, for example. He’s not only a key member of the Smith Family Ranch, but he’s also a local gunsmith.

The Futch family is another example of diversification and agritourism on the farm. Their Fox Squirrel Corn Maze, hosted at Single R Ranch in Plant City each fall, is just a small part of what they do on their ag operation.

If you have a chance to get away from the bustle of life in the suburbs, then these fall agritourism attractions offer a fun way to do so, plus you and your family can learn a little bit about what it takes to run a successful farm. Don’t forget to pick up your latest copy of CFAN, and thanks for reading!

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