Ten Steps for a Successful Farm Visit

Many farmers love having visitors, and appreciate seeing their farm through other peoples’ eyes. But to ensure the visit goes smoothly, here are a few loose guidelines to keep in mind:

1) Call first. We might be napping.

2) Show up when you say you will. Please don’t be late. At least call if you’re delayed. Bring cookies as a peace offering for your tardiness. In fact, bring cookies even if you’re on time.

3) Bring food. Speaking of cookies, farmers forget to eat, so we’re always grateful when someone waves a pan of lasagna or a loaf of homemade bread under our noses.

4) Leave your pets at home. Yes, I know Buster would love to run and stretch his citified legs, but chasing chickens and snapping them up and shaking them until dead just isn’t good Visitor Behavior.

5) Wear the ugly plastic boots. Even if you’ve never stepped on another farm your entire life, a farmer may ask you to slip a pair of clear plastic boots over your shoes. Disease can spread easily from farm to farm and devastate a flock or herd, so forget fashion and learn to shuffle-walk so the boots stay on. See photo above, where Melissa is modeling the latest in plastic boots.

6) Bring cookies. Oops, I repeat myself.

7) Raise well-behaved children. Yes, I know Bradley would love to run and stretch his citified legs, but chasing chickens and snapping them up and shaking them until dead just—oh, that’s the dog. Sorry. But really—if you don’t control your children, then the farmer must, and it tarnishes our carefully cultivated image as nice people.

8) Wear appropriate clothing. Don’t arrive in sandals or flip flops or, God forbid, barefoot, and expect your walk through a farm to be a pleasant experience. Of course, if you like the feel of duck poop squishing through your toes, who am I to judge.

9) Pay attention to gates. If you go through a gate that’s open when you get there, leave it open. If you go through a gate that’s closed when you get there, please close it behind you. If you’re at the tail end of a group of people and don’t know if the gate was open or closed, ask.

10) If possible, let us know you appreciated and enjoyed the tour. Two tickets on an Alaskan cruise would be nice. Or maybe new tires for the Farmall 706 tractor. Offer to farm-sit for a month so the farmer can step out and see what the rest of the world looks like.

Or, if none of these are within your reach, cookies would be nice.

7 thoughts on “

  1. I know what kind of cookies this farmer likes! Anything with white chocolate or peanut butter or M&Ms.

    A friend just read this blog entry and is now worried that she hasn’t been following the “guidelines.” Kath, you don’t need to bring cookies, really.

  2. I remember the first time I set foot on a farm. It was late Fall in Upstate New York. They had a little bit of everything, sheep, goats, cows and one extremely friendly horse named Playboy. I took one look around and said “I’ve never seen so much sh-t in my life.” Then I proceeded to climb on my then boyfriend’s back (he had the boots) and went to feed the goats.

    P.S. If I ever get a chance to visit, I’ll be sure to bring cookies.

  3. lol, I wear boots all the time with 12 chickens and a dog, I’d be happy to wear the plastic thingys although I slip over in mud enough as it is and with those I’d just be mud skating!

    I love choc chip cookies from ASDA, I think they do a variety so I’ll bring those if I’m ever your way! We make a lot of cakes here with all the eggs or should I say we did before the cold weather came in and egg production dropped, I also think they may be eating them despite enough food to keep an elephant full and extra bird shell!

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