From apple to pumpkin picking to hayrides and visiting a winery, New Jersey farms are hoping to capitalize on the fall agritourism season.

Halloween 2012 in NJ (Flickr: nyk1994)

Agritourism is a $60 million industry in the state and offers a variety of year-round activities from pick your own produce, farm stands and wine tastings to horseback riding and corn mazes.

"Its becoming an important component of the overall tourism season...its a great way for a family to spend the day, its affordable and it gives a chance for kids to learn something about agriculture and farms" said Al Murray, assistant secretary at the state Department of Agriculture.

"It also helps local families and citizens throughout the state understand the importance of agriculture and what it does for New Jersey" added Murray.

A Rutgers University study 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.

"Farmers really count on income from agritourism to help their bottom line" said Murray.

To find out more about fall agritourism events in your area, visit the state website.


More From New Jersey 101.5 FM