A Drive in the Country:

Need an idea for a relaxing Sunday afternoon with the family?
Well, the Rainy River Federation of Agriculture is holding a farm tour this Sunday from 12:30-5 p.m., aptly named “A Drive in the Country.”
“There are five farms,” noted tour organizer Deb Cornell. “At each farm, there will food available and activities at each place.
“Many of them will tied into what grows on the farm.”
The five stops, all located between Fort Frances and Emo, include a greenhouse operation, beef farm, horse farm, seed operation, and research station.
Those interested in taking the drive can pick up their “passports” from the tractors parked at McDonald’s Restaurant here or the Emo research station between noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Wagon rides, horse rides, and scarecrow building workshops are just some of the events scheduled for the tour, with children’s activities planned at all stops.
“They need one ‘passport’ per vehicle,” Cornell said. “We’ll have signs directing people and orange balloons up, too.”
It’s the second year in row the RRFA has held such an event although several changes have been made. One was the date (it was held in the middle of summer last year).
Moving the tour to the fall utilizes the harvest, and the whole idea of harvest being “farming at its peak,” Cornell said of the change.
Two of the most successful farm tours in Ontario also are held in the fall, she added, convincing farmers here to give autumn a try.
“There was just a feeling that for entertainment and education value, it could be expanded,” Cornell remarked. “We just needed to learn more about doing farm tours.”
The tour also was shortened to half a day, and moved from a Saturday to a Sunday this year.
“We changed from Saturday to Sunday because Sunday’s more of a family day,” Cornell said. “So many people are tied up working on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Cornell said good numbers this year could mean even bigger and better tours down the road. The next tour probably will take in farms west of Emo, she noted, although the exact date hasn’t been chosen yet.
“There are only 1.5 percent of Canadians [who] are farmers,” she continued. “[Farm tours] are a good way to offer entertainment and education about farming.”