Pandemic introduces ag tourism opportunity to row crop farmer


Pandemic introduces ag tourism opportunity to row crop farmer

An Illinois corn and soybean farmer is diversifying her operation this year by adding ag tourism opportunities.

Kate Danner of Aledo in northwest Illinois tells Brownfield with COVID-19 related meeting cancellations last year she was home more often and decided to plant some sunflowers for pollinators, which she ended up selling.

“I went to one farmers market and I sold out, then I went to another farmers market and I sold out. I couldn’t believe the profit off of two tenths of an acre and I wondered what would happen if I opened up to the public.”

Danner has spent the winter months preparing her farm for a u-pick flower operation and craft barn to sell her woodworking projects. She plans to focus on row crops during the week and the agritourism side on the weekends during the summer.

“People can come and visit the farm and ask questions about things like pollinators, pesticides and machinery. I want to open up my doors and share what I love.”               

She says the grand opening of Danndee Flowers in July will diversify her operation, offer ag educational opportunities for the public and above all, produce something positive from the pandemic.