Our visit to Rutland Farms was led and hosted by the General Manager, Paige, since Ryan Rutland unfortunately could not be there. Despite Ryan not being there, Paige still offered us a great time and I still learned a lot more than I had expected. The beginnings of Rutland Farms focused on just strawberries before they grew to over 2100 acres with over 22 crop varieties. Their Strawberry House, which was constructed in 2000, is actually down the road from The Market and housed many of the products that you would see in the current Market. Their current market was started as a project by Ryan Rutland in 2011 as a way to bring agritourism further into their business. The products that the market sells are processed by an outside company in which they send their produce and recipes and the finished product is sent back for them to sell. Along with their market and the products within it, a huge selling point for them is their Christmas trees in the off season. This allows them to be kept open all year long while still offering an exciting event for the family to partake in. Lastly, I know we all really enjoyed getting to spend time at the petting zoo, which houses animals that have been rescued by members of the community. I know my favorite was “Pork Chop” the pig. Overall, Rutland Farms made me realize just how important Georgia agriculture is to the livelihood of families and how everyone can and will benefit from it in one way or another – whether that be from the food we eat or those that process it.