News & Updates

Follow The Farmstead
June 10, 2016 by: Lesley Gooding

Summer Farm Tour Brings Fun, Education to Families

Champaign County– Six local farms and facilities will open their doors to the community during the second annual Follow the Farmstead presented by Visit Champaign County and the Champaign County Farm Bureau.

Follow the Farmstead aims to connect families to farmers. In its second year, the event will feature open houses at six farms and facilities in and around Urbana. Held Saturday, June 11, from 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., the event features organic practices and the harvesting of invasive species, the latest in farming equipment and technology, land preservation and new research.  

“We are well known for our agriculture that surrounds us, but we often aren’t able to engage in the process,” explains Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing at Visit Champaign County. “Follow the Farmstead provides that opportunity for families and individuals to ask questions and really connect with local agriculture.”

As part of its mission to educate, the Champaign County Farm Bureau co-sponsors the event. “Agriculture is an industry that is constantly changing and it is often difficult for consumers to keep up,” states Brad Uken, Manager at the Champaign County Farm Bureau. “We’re thrilled to give our farmers the opportunity to engage with the community and have a voice in the industry that is their livelihood.”

Participating farms and facilities include:  Agrible showcasing their mobile technology; Autumn Berry Inspired and the Green Island Farm Collective showcasing new uses for invasive species and sustainable practices; Barnhart Prairie Preserve showcasing prairie restoration; Birkey's Farm Store with the latest in farming equipment; Pheasant Ridge Farms with tours of their Christmas Tree farm as well as organic practices; and the University of Illinois Beef Farm discussing animal science and research.

Guests are encouraged to visit farms at any time during 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., however, tours will end at noon for Birkey’s Farm Store, and guided tours will be held at the University of Illinois Beef Farm on the hour at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00 a.m. as well as 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be available for purchase at Agrible from 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

The event is free and requires no tickets. Maps for the event can be picked up at Visit Champaign County at 108 S. Neil St., Champaign or downloaded online at

For more information, contact Terri Reifsteck at 217-351-4133 or