AUGUSTA — The 25th annual Maine Open Farm Day is Sunday, July 27. All across the state of Maine, close to 90 family farms will open their doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Held each year, Open Farm Day is an opportunity for consumers to learn about Maine and Maine food producers and for farms to show the public their products.

“Open Farm Day recognizes the many contributions that farmers make to our economy and highlights the local communities they are located in,” said Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage. “Not only do our farms provide fresh food, but they also demonstrate the virtues of hard work and self-reliance. Despite the national decline in farms, the number of Maine farms is growing, as is the market value of the agricultural products our farms produce. That value has increased 24 percent since 2007 to more than $763 million. Maine agriculture is also creating more jobs. The number of operations with hired workers has increased 28 percent in the last five years.”

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb urged families to take advantage of this unique event. “All across Maine you can visit dozens of small farms; farms with vegetable stands and market gardens; farms with hay rides and home bakeries; farms with sheep, cows, horses, rabbits, pigs or chickens; farms and farm owners who want to show you a fascinating cross section of life growing out in the Maine countryside,” said Whitcomb. “The Department is pleased to help organize this family oriented event that encourages better understanding of how food happens and how hard working Maine farm families contribute to both the local economy and the locally grown food supply.”

Activities may include barn and field tours, milking, hay rides, petting zoos, nature trails, beautiful scenery, samples for tasting and refreshments. Events like Open Farm Day have an impact on the Agri-Tourism in the State of Maine. According to the USDA, in 2012, AG Tourism & Recreational Services in Maine increased 78 percent (Increasing from $1,012,000 to $1,803,000) and participating farms increased by 141 percent (112 to 270 farms).

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this event, participating farms will showcase a Welcome Open Farm Day banner indicating their doors are open to the public.

For more details on participating farms visit: http://www.getrealmaine.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/calendar.detail/event_id/186/index.htm


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