August 25, 2004 | By: Laura Skillman
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.

Looking for fun farm-related activities close to home?  Or maybe you have a farm and want to include tourism in your enterprise. If so, then the Pride of Kentucky Showcase is the place to be.

Designed to create an awareness of agritourism in Kentucky, the “Fun on the Farm” Pride of Kentucky Showcase will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green .

Visitors to the showcase will get to see what Kentucky farms have to offer and hear stories about farm and family traditions. Information will be available about how to make one or more of these rural locations part of a family’s vacation destinations. 

“It’s a way to enlighten the public that you are here and let them get acquainted with your business,” said David Dennison, vice president of Cave Region Agritourism Inc. “As a farmer we have to learn how to be business people now and advertising is a big part of that.”

This is the second year for the showcase, sponsored by Cave Region Agritourism Inc., University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service , Kentucky Farm Bureau and West Kentucky Corporation.

“The idea is to promote agritourism and learn about what’s available close to home,” said Joanna Coles, Warren County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources and an advisor to Cave Region Agritourism. “It also helps to create an awareness of agritourism. It’s a way to keep farmers on the farm.”

Dennison, who participated in the 2003 event, said he likes the hands-on aspect.

Dennison is owner of Mammoth Cave Transplants near Brownsville . The greenhouse operation includes hydroponic strawberries, spring and fall plants and flowers, vegetable plants and tobacco transplants.

More than 40 vendors will be on hand at the event representing agritourism businesses, festivals and other tourism organizations. There will be interactive games, product purchase opportunities, product sampling and door prizes.

Live cooking demonstrations will be held each hour on the half hour highlighting a different Kentuckyproduct.

A number of children’s activities also are planned.  Activities have been expanded from the previous year and the entire family can participate, Coles said. These include a hen house egg hunt, rope a steer, digging for vegetables, barnyard bingo, barnyard trivia, ice cream making, candle making, pony rides and a petting zoo. Hayrides also will be provided.

“It’s a good learning experience for everybody,” she said. “It also gives agritourism enterprises ideas for activities as well.”

Dennison noted the showcase also is an opportunity for agritourism enterprises to do some networking and find out what else is available in their area. That knowledge can help in perhaps doing business together, or simply being a conduit for sending each other customers. The event also can be a good place for anyone considering an agritourism venture to see what’s already in operation in the area and to make contacts.

Admission is $5 at the door or $4 in advance from a local Cooperative Extension office. 

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Contact: 

Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278
Source: Joanna Coles, 270-842-1681