NEW JERSEY FALL AGRITOURISM SEASON HERE
Secretaries of Agriculture and State Walk Through Corn Maze, Highlight the Many On-Farm Activities AvailableFor Immediate Release: October 2, 2008
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(HILLSBOROUGH) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus and Secretary of State Nina Wells today had no trouble finding their way out of a maze cut out of a corn field at Norz Hill Farm in Hillsborough – with the help of farm owner Rich Norz, who led them through.
“Weaving your way through a corn maze is just one of many activities that visitors can take part in at New Jersey farms in the fall,” said Secretary Kuperus. “From apple and pumpkin picking to hayrides and visiting a winery, these on-farm activities can be found close to home and are an affordable way for a family to spend the day or even the weekend.”
Agritourism is a $57.5 million industry in the state and offers a variety of year-round experiences from pick-your-own produce, farm stands, wine tastings and horse back riding to hayrides, corn mazes and cut-your-own Christmas trees.
“Although agritourism and related revenues are a small crop in the vast field of New Jersey’s $38 billion tourism industry, it has increasingly become an important component in the industry,” said Secretary Wells. “From pumpkin picking and decorating, class trips, festivals, petting zoos and hayrides, New Jersey farms are attracting visitors in the most creative ways!”
Rich Norz, Secretary Wells and Secretary Kuperus walk the Norz Hill corn maze
The Norz Hill Farm corn maze is cut in the shape of the word “CORNFUSION” and is the farm’s 5th annual maze. The farm also offers school tours and pick- your-own pumpkins. The Norz family started farming in Hillsborough in 1920. It has grown to a 1,500 acre dairy and breeding business. They also grow various crops. About 80 acres are in the Farmland Preservation Program.
“Hillsborough is a densely populated town and our agritourism activities give our neighbors the opportunity to see what we do,” said Rich Norz. “We hope this offers the public a greater appreciation when they see the effort and process going in to the farm.”
A Rutgers University study conducted last year found that more than one-fifth of New Jersey farms offered some form of agritourism, with 43 percent of New Jersey’s total farmland associated with farm operations engaged in agritourism. The study also found that a large percentage of farms offering agritourism events derived most, if not all their income from those activities.
To find activities planned this fall on New Jersey farms, visit www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov, www.visitnjfarms.org, and www.visitnj.org websites.