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More of Britt's Garden Acres | Fall 2013 Out Here Magazine

Kansas farmers harvest success with agricultural tourism

By Carol Davis

Photography by by Greg Latza

Cultivating fun has become as important to Richard and Angela Britt as cultivating corn, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, watermelon, cucumbers, and other vegetables on their Manhattan, Kan., farm.

Autumn especially is a beehive of activity as families visit Britt's to take a hayride, search through a corn maze, tumble in the inflatable bouncy house, and pick out pumpkins.

Richard and Angie Britt's Kansas farm is one of nearly 24,000 farms across the United States that report income from agricultural tourism — agritourism — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2007 Census of Agriculture. They offer such activities as a pumpkin patch, hayrides, barn parties, farm tours, storytelling, and much more.

Richard and Angie sell their own home-grown produce, a tradition started by Richard's grandparents, John and Lucile Britt, who were the first in the family to farm fruits and vegetables, which they sold from their front porch beginning in 1948.Britt's Farm Store carries fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey from their own hives, and dried corn from their fields for fall decorating.

Richard has created a second corn maze that's larger and more challenging than the original 1½-acre maze. It covers about 10 acres and requires nearly 30 minutes to complete — that is, if you finish it correctly. Children particularly like the "Fun Zone" at Britt's, where they can pet and feed goats, calves, ducks, and other livestock in the petting zoo, climb hay bales and oversized tractor tires, and crawl through large tubes.

Richard and Angie Britt - Tractor Supply Co.
Richard and Angie Britt's Kansas farm is one of nearly 24,000 farms across the United States that report income from agricultural tourism — agritourism — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2007 Census of Agriculture.

Pumpkins - Tractor Supply Co.
Richard and Angie sell their own home-grown produce, a tradition started by Richard's grandparents, John and Lucile Britt, who were the first in the family to farm fruits and vegetables, which they sold from their front porch beginning in 1948.

Dried Corn Stalks - Tractor Supply Co.
Britt's Farm Store carries fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey from their own hives, and dried corn from their fields for fall decorating.

Corn Maze - Tractor Supply Co.
Richard has created a second corn maze that's larger and more challenging than the original 1½-acre maze. It covers about 10 acres and requires nearly 30 minutes to complete — that is, if you finish it correctly.

Feeding goats - Tractor Supply Co.
Children particularly like the "Fun Zone" at Britt's, where they can pet and feed goats, calves, ducks, and other livestock in the petting zoo, climb hay bales and oversized tractor tires, and crawl through large tubes.