Frankfort, KY (August 31, 2004) – By proclaiming September to be “Agri-tourism Month” in Kentucky, Governor Ernie Fletcher hopes to draw international attention to the mutually beneficial and historic relationship between two of the Commonwealth’s most important businesses, agriculture and tourism.
Although Kentucky’s horse breeding farms long have been a staple of the state’s tourism industry, Kentucky has a wealth of other Agri-tourism destinations that welcome visitors. They include a wide variety of farms and markets, bourbon distilleries and wineries, and festivals of all sort, from the Chicken Festival in London to Ham Days in Lebanon.
“Kentucky has been blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and resources making Agri-tourism one of the most exciting potential markets for Kentucky families,” stated Governor Fletcher. “I am proud to proclaim September as Agri-tourism Month here in the Commonwealth as more and more Americans are becoming interested in the beauty, heritage and recreational opportunities offered by rural America.”
Although it’s difficult to assess the economic impact of Agri-tourism, given the presence of so many small farms throughout Kentucky, Governor Fletcher understands the importance of Kentucky’s farm industry to both citizen and tourists. As part of this initiative, the Kentucky State Parks system now is buying more Kentucky produce and livestock to supply its restaurants.
By demonstrating the strength of Kentucky’s agriculture industry, the state’s farmers hope to strengthen their local economies, attract new residents and customers, help the Commonwealth increase tax revenue and generate numerous direct marketing opportunities to demonstrate the viability of their farm operations.
For more information, visit the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s website at www.kentuckytourism.com to see a list of Agri-tourism events and festivals in the month of September. There are also several links to organizations that make the promotion of agriculture and Agri-tourism-awareness a goal in everything that they do.