Faith Clarke Featured in 850 Business Magazine of Northwest Florida

Jackson County is Adding More Value to the Tourists’ Buck ‘U-Pick’ Tourism

Hey, there’s a lot more to Northwest Florida than sand and surf. There’s exciting history and colorful culture a daytrip away from the coastal resorts. All you have to do is get off the beaten path to see it. Jackson County in particular welcomes all visitors to fathom the mysteries of its caves, thrill at its ghost stories, walk in the footsteps of 17th-century Spanish soldiers and priests, and take in the wholesome goodness of its orchards, ranches and farms.

“Visitors are looking for something different,” said Faith Clarke, coordinator and management analyst with the Florida Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture and Food Science at Florida A&M University. Clarke’s job is to develop new forms of tourism that promote the region’s agriculture. This new venue is titled “agri-tourism.” And it’s something Florida is working hard to establish to capture a new wave of tourists tired of the same old thing.

“The traditional tourism draws on sand, sea and surf. That’s what our tourism has always been about, but there comes a time when visitors are looking for something different and are eager to explore beyond the theme parks and seaside,” Clarke said. “They’re looking for something different, and tourists have evolved in terms of taste and what they want to do.”

The way Clarke describes it, agri-tourism is all about venturing out into the heartland’s farms, ranches, groves and fields for some quality time with our roots. Literally. For some, it may mean a close look at how food is grown and harvested. To Read More, Visit 850 Living Magazine

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