At first glance, a conference to promote agritourism sounds like an event that could only be dreamed up by government bureaucracy.
But at today's third annual Agriculture Tourism Conference (5 p.m. at the Clinton Building in Sikeston, Mo.) there will be several examples of how farms already are boosting the local economy thanks to tourism.
Begg's Family Farm in Scott County, for example, has a popular cornfield maze and also attracts duck hunters. A six-county area in Southeast Missouri is a pilot site for the Missouri Regional Cuisines project. The annual Tour do Corn bicycle race in East Prairie, Mo., attracts a large number of cyclists.
Flat prices for farm commodities make alternative methods of making money all the more attractive to farmers. Anything that will boost both farms and tourism shouldn't be considered strange. It should be welcomed.