COLLINS — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) yesterday introduced a new Agritourism Sign Program at Mitchell Farms in Collins.
The Agritourism Sign Program is a result of joint efforts between MDAC and the Mississippi Development Authority to introduce members of the Mississippi Agritourism Association to various resources available to their industry through other state agencies and organizations. With input from the associated stakeholders, MDOT developed rules regulations, and guidelines for a new statewide signing program. In early 2012, the Mississippi Transportation Commission formally authorized the program, which will now allow qualified agritourism businesses to have directional signage on the right-of-way of state maintained highways.
Mitchell Farms is the first agritourism operation to utilize the signage program. More than 20 other agritourism venues across the state are participating in the program, as well.
Jo Lynn Mitchell, co-owner of Mitchell Farms, said, “This program came to fruition because a group of people came together, worked together and made it happen. This is a great opportunity for our state to recognize two driving forces in its economy — agriculture and tourism.”
In Mississippi, agritourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in agriculture and tourism as an increasing number of working farms and other agricultural enterprises are incorporating agritourism activities into their operations. These operations provide a unique experience for visitors by offering a variety of educational and fun attractions such as pumpkin patches, corn mazes, u-pick gardens, hay rides, seasonal festivals and other activities.