Agritourism on the rise on American farms

Farm owners are running farm stays and corn mazes to make ends meet.
Farm owners are running farm stays and corn mazes to make ends meet.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) agricultural census, taken every five years, found that in 2007 approximately 23,000 farms took part in agritourism - activities for visitors that generate income outside of regular farming work - reports The New York Times.

These farms each earned $24,300 from agritourism. At the time of the 2002 census, more farms engaged in agricultural tourism, but brought in only $7,200 per farm, states the news source. Farm work will only account for 13 percent of the average farm income this year, the USDA projects. California, a leader in agritourism and the United States' biggest farming state, is home to 700 farms that make on average more than $50,000 a year from tourism offerings.

To make ends meet, more farmers are turning to activities such as farm stays, corn labyrinths, hunting and horse-riding, notes the news source.

John Deere, the leading producer of agricultural equipment, supplies farm households with the vehicles they need to do their work or to entertain agritourism visitors. One of these machines is the 2011 Gator XUV 4-by-4 utility vehicle. According to the John Deere website, the 825i Gator features superior low-end torque to make towing, hauling and climbing hills easier.