Successful Farming Magazine has stated that 75% of Americans have not visited a farm in the past five years. Louisiana native, Taylor McCann, aims to change that.
Taylor and her husband James McCann recently started Heartland Tours in Pineville, Louisiana. The mission of Heartland Tours is to reconnect people to agriculture through educational farm tours as well as help farmers diversify their income through agritourism. Starting this October, visitors will get to gain a firsthand look at a farm and talk to farmers, ranchers, partners, university personnel, scientists and researchers.
Taylor said she started the tours as a way to educate people about agriculture.
“People are removed from where their food comes from,” McCann said. “Our tours aim to help people see what it takes to grow food and hopefully positively affect the industry and of course, have a great time with delicious food and live music along the way.”
Although McCann grew up on a farm with soybeans, corn, cotton, sugarcane, wheat, cattle, rice and crawfish, it was not until she took her first agriculture class in 2010 at Louisiana State University that she fell in love with agriculture. McCann graduated with degrees in mass communications and agriculture with the hope of telling the story of agriculture through video production. In 2015, she started Heartland Productions, an agricultural video company enabling her to share the stories of farmers and agriculturalists.
Through this work, she made connections with farmers and families who were willing to venture into agritourism but did not have the time or resources to do so.
This eventually led Taylor and her husband James, to create Heartland Tours.
“I want Heartland Tours to do all the work for [the farmers] and bring people to their farm,” McCann said. “We pay the farms who give tours a percentage of ticket sales so that it can be an additional source of income for them. The tours will last 2 to 3 hours and they don’t have to worry about the stress of marketing, selling tickets, getting people on a bus, etc.”
Taylor said creating Heartland Tours allows Americans to reconnect to agriculture, on the farms and with the experts.
For more information on Taylor’s work and how to book a tour, visit: Heartlandtoursla.com.