2008-10-30 / Local & State

Keystone Country Highlights Homegrown Fun

Agritourism tool provides link to Pennsylvania's agricultural hotspots

Sample produce at a farm market, experience the excitement of a county fair, visit a working farm or take a sleigh ride to cut your own Christmas tree with the help of a new interactive tool that showcases agricultural destinations across Pennsylvania, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff last week.

"Keystone Country" is a new program that unites two of Pennsylvania's largest economic forces - agriculture and tourism - and highlights farm markets, county fairs, farm stays and wineries on an easy-touse Web site at www.visitpa.com/KeystoneCountry.

"Pennsylvania is home to a vibrant agricultural industry," said Wolff. "With gas prices pinching consumers' pocketbooks, Keystone Country makes it easy to plan a funfilled vacation any time of the year while remaining close to home."

"By taking advantage of the many stops on Keystone Country's interactive maps, travelers can connect with the rich traditions of rural life, while growing the local economy and the state's agricultural industry."

Keystone Country's Web site features four interactive maps with agritourism destinations searchable by city or region, and lists nearby restaurants, lodging and activities. For added convenience, the Web site offers pre-planned road trips with stops at some of Pennsylvania's best farms and markets.

Keystone Country replaces the Department of Agriculture's previous agritourism program, Blue Ribbon Passport, which focused on destinations in the I-78 and I-79 corridors rather than statewide.

To learn more about Pennsylvania agriculture, go to the Web at www.agriculture.state.pa.us.

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