Sponsored By
Missouri Ruralist logo

Explore charm of Missouri agritourismExplore charm of Missouri agritourism

Show Me Life: Here is your guide to unwind, learn and savor on the farm during fall.

Mindy Ward

September 8, 2023

4 Min Read
A young boy and girl walking through a pumpkin patch
MAKE MEMORIES: Kids and pumpkins — they are truly the best way to experience fall. Pumpkin patches are just one of the state’s agritourism attractions. There are many more to choose from. Get out and enjoy! Erica Finstad/Getty Images

I’m done with this hot, steamy summer. Bring on cool, colorful fall!

If you’re like me and craving an experience that's equal parts relaxing and educational, then put on your comfy shoes, grab the family and get ready to immerse yourself in Missouri’s agritourism destinations.

What is agritourism anyway?

Agritourism is like a fascinating combo platter where you get to experience the joys of a farm vacation while indulging your curiosity about all things agricultural.

The Missouri Farm Bureau website houses a list of agritourism operations in the state. Currently, there are 613 entries. A quick search by county or category produces a rural attraction that allows you to wander through lush fields, pick your own fresh produce, and maybe help your kids or grandkids learn a thing or two about Missouri farm life.

Here are five locations to get a jump-start on your fall excursions:

1. The magic of milk. Osborn is home to family-owned Shatto Milk Co. A working dairy farm, this place produces fresh, natural products. Stop by and learn how milk gets from the farm to your table. Tour the processing and bottling plant, meet some adorable calves, milk a cow, and sample the fresh, delicious cheeses, ice cream and milk. Make sure to grab a jug of chocolate milk to go. It holds a five-star rating from my daughters. To learn more visit facebook.com/shattomilk.

2. Wine and dine. If you want to add a touch of sophistication with a little small-town charm to your agritourism adventure, you’ll end up in my neck of the woods at Hermann. Stop by one of its many wineries, or simply add to the rural economy during its epic Oktoberfest. Either way, I suggest taking a stroll downtown to the Concert Hall and Barrel Tavern. Enjoy the ambiance and order a pork tenderloin sandwich. You’ll thank me later. For more on all the happenings, visit facebook.com/visithermann.

3. Lost in a maze — corn that is. It seems everyone likes a good corn maze. But go with the pros —someone who knows his way around a cornfield — Missouri Corn Merchandising Council vice chair Matt Lambert. He and his wife, Kate, and son, Mace, operate Uptown Farms near Brookfield. Matt designs and carves out each corn maze. Make sure to snap Instagram-worthy pictures and let the world see agriculture at its best. Nothing beats those golden cornstalks. For hours of operation, visit facebook.com/uptownfarms.

4. Apple of your eye. Brandt and Kelsey Schisler opened Hickory Ridge Orchard near Mexico, Mo., just five years ago. However, the trees in this orchard date back to 1993 when it was locally known as Binder’s Apple and Alpacas. The young couple purchased the orchard and expanded it to about 850 apple trees with more than 24 varieties. They added pumpkins and mums, but more importantly dine on their farmhouse treats. From mini apple pies to raw apple cider, they offer something that offers the smell and taste of fall. For more on hours of operation, check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/hickoryridgeorchard.

5. Pumpkin pickin’. Peno Creek Pumpkin Patch near Frankford is the place for pumpkins and a great view. Owners Holly and Curtis Delgman operate a family farm in northeast Missouri and decided to diversify the operation by adding agritourism. The farm at Peno Creek Pumpkin Patch was passed down to Holly by her grandfather. The couple hopes to pass it on to their own children one day. For more, visit facebook.com/penocreekpumpkinpatch.

In a nutshell ... or a pecan shell

Missouri's agritourism destinations offer a great escape from the daily grind. Whether you're picking apples straight from the tree, sipping wine by the vineyards, getting lost in a corn maze or bonding with farm animals, you're in for a treat.

Our state offers the perfect country locations to unwind, reconnect with nature and family, and learn a little something along the way.

So, get out this fall and enjoy the charm of agritourism — and trust me, it's even better with family and friends.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like