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Across Colorado, farmers and ranchers are cultivating a bounty of agricultural riches. Several activities — farm tours, farmers’ markets, U-picks, hay rides, corn mazes, cheesemaking classes — offer sampling and hands-on experiences with this “growing” industry.
When visiting Colorado farms and ranches, keep these tips in mind:
Remember that farms and ranches are businesses and homes to those who work them. Be sure to respect all signs and stay in permitted areas — don’t go snoopin’ through the laundry!
Bring the kiddos! There’s so much for kids to see and do on a farm; it’s important, however, to make sure they’re never unattended. Safety is of utmost importance on a working farm or ranch, with animals you don’t want spooked and heavy equipment you don’t want little ones to tumble off.
Leave your Sunday best behind. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and, for comfort and practicality, consider closed-toed shoes or boots, a hat, sunglasses and pants (for walking through brush or riding horses).
Ask questions and be curious. Farmers and ranchers have stories to tell — many properties have been in the same family for generations. Find out how life has changed for them over the years, why they do what they do, and the impact their work has on your own life and the heritage of the area.
Be prepared. Bring cash to U-pick or farm stands, a cooler to get your goodies home, a camera to record your adventure and sunscreen, bug spray and bottled water to ensure you don’t regret your adventure later.