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Butler County Farm Tour Offers Something for Everyone

Aug 31, 2015 11:38AM ● Published by Clare Heekin Lynch

Gallery: Butler County Farm Tour [13 Images] Click any image to expand.

If you ever wanted to feed an alpaca, learn how to care for backyard chickens, pick your own pumpkin or groom a horse, then mark your calendar for the first weekend in October, when the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau will be hosting a huge celebration of agriculture in the region.

While the farm tour has been an annual county event since 1998, this year will be the first time that the tourism bureau will be running it, and organizers promise that it will be bigger and better than ever. According to Communications and Marketing Coordinator Sara DiBello, this year’s tour will feature more than 30 farms and other agricultural and education-related groups. “Agriculture and tourism are the top industries in Pennsylvania and we wanted to showcase that by expanding the event to an entire weekend,” she explained. “Half of the participants are farms and the other half are related to these industries—there will be tours, different homemade foods to eat, local handmade goods to admire and buy, and so many activities for the kids.

“The primary focus of the event is education, because many people think that the food they eat just comes from the grocery store,” she added. “By hosting events on local farms, visitors have the opportunity to meet the faces who grow and nurture the produce, dairy and meat that ends up on their plates. It truly gives a different perspective when you see the work that goes into growing the food.”

Local farm owner Kerry McCann of Whispering Pines Farm is excited to participate in this year’s event for the first time. Having filled her childhood summer days with ponies and long trail rides, McCann has fond memories of growing up on a family farm, and she hopes to encourage kids to put down their electronics and get involved with the world surrounding them. “For a child to take part in growing a garden or taking care of a pet…I hope that positive feeling will rest in their souls, and they’ll learn to appreciate slowing down a bit and getting more in touch with nature,” she said.

This family-friendly event, sponsored by local businesses Whispering Pines Farm, East End Food Coop, C. W. Howard Insurance Agency, and Albert’s Garage & Farm Equipment, will feature locally grown and produced items from all corners of the county. “Hayrides, pumpkin patches, cider pressing, meat curing, Christmas trees, local artisans and even a distillery—we’ve tried to make the event very diverse and I can honestly say that there will be something for everyone,” promised DiBello.

The event has been broken down into four regions (see list below) to make it more visitor-friendly. “There are so many fun places to stop and visit that we’ll offer participants a program booklet with a map so that it is easier to get around,” said DiBello. “There’s no ‘plan’ as to where to go or what to see—it’s all based on individual interests.

“These farmers, business owners and artisans work really hard in supporting the Butler County economy, and so we look forward to giving back and showing our gratitude for their hard work,” she added. “They truly play an important role in our region.”

When:
Saturday, October 3 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Sunday, October 4 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 
*times will vary by location

How Much:
Free! *prices vary per farm for food

For more information about the event or to become a sponsor, call 866-856-8444 or visit www.visitbutlercounty.com/FarmTour.

If you are a local agritourist business interested in participating, contact Social@VisitButlerCounty.com.

Sites by region:
RED REGION
•    Asgard Acres Alpaca Farm
•    Cheeseman Farm
•    Valcliff Acres
•    Pine Hill Farms
•    Portersville Steam Show
•    Mars Applefest

YELLOW REGION
•    Harvest Valley Farms
•    Freedom Farms (+Donut Shop, Farmers Market & Sandwich Shop)
•    ShuBrew at Freedom Farms
•    Alpaca Palace
•    Butler Farm Market
•    Silver Crest Equestrian Center

GREEN REGION
•    Armstrong Farms featuring Con Yeager Spice Co.
•    Horse on Course Equestrian Center
•    Jones Turkey Farm
•    Whispering Pines Farm
•    Bogacz Country Market
•    Speckled Hen Chocolate Company
•    Har-Lo Farms

BLUE REGION
•    North Country Harvest Co.
•    WestPark Alpacas
•    Red Barn Alpacas
•    Willie’s Smoke House, LLC
•    The Birdwatchers Store
•    D R Distillery
•    Moraine Preservation Fund




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