Just in time for spring bedding plants, hanging flowering baskets, nursery stock, and fresh Michigan asparagus, the 2011 Michigan Farm Market and Agricultural Tourism directory is now available.
"This statewide listing of farm markets, U-pick operations, cider mills and much more is the perfect pocket guide for those looking for farm fresh Michigan produce and specialty food products like jams, jellies, baked goods, ice cream, maple syrup and honey," says Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). "The directory also helps locate family friendly activities down on the farm, such as hay rides, petting farms, fishing ponds, corn mazes and riding stables."
The 2011 directory was created by the Michigan Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Association (MI-FMAT) in partnership with Julian Vail, LLC and Farm Bureau Insurance. Copies of the directory are available free of charge at all 14 Michigan Welcome Centers and at nearly 450 Farm Bureau Insurance agent offices across Michigan, as well as county Farm Bureau offices.
"Farm markets and agri-tourism are an important part of the agriculture industry in Michigan," said Jim Robinson, executive vice president of Farm Bureau Insurance. "As Michigan's Insurance Company, we are proud to support efforts that promote homegrown Michigan products. This directory is a guide to having fun on the farms and in the rural communities of our great state."
The directory has more farm market listings than last year's, features an alphabetical index, GPS locations, and has a regional tab design to help customers find the markets and products they are searching for. It also features 16 full-color pages and an availability chart showcasing when the various types of fresh Michigan fruits, vegetables and other products are in season.
"The Michigan Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Association is proud to provide this directory for our customers," said Steve Tennes, MI-FMAT board president and operator of The Country Mill in Charlotte. "Michigan farm marketers are gearing up for a terrific season, and look forward to welcoming visitors to their farms to share our high-quality, locally grown food and agricultural products and unique on-farm experiences."
In addition to the printed directory, farm listings can be accessed via a searchable database on MI-FMAT's website at http://www.MichiganFarmFun.com. Links to the electronic directory are also accessible from MDARD's agricultural tourism web page, http://www.michigan.gov/agtourism, the Farm Bureau Insurance website, http://www.farmbureauinsurance-mi.com, and the Michigan Farm Bureau website, http://www.michfb.com/mfb.