DEER TRAIL - Agriculture is a big part of the communities along the Interstate 70 corridor on the Eastern Plains. Now, there is now an effort to turn those working farms into a new type of tourist attraction.
“Pigs have always been my favorite animal,” said Erin Brinkley-Burgardt, owner of Hog Haven Farm in Deer Trail. “They’re just wonderful animals.”
At Hog Haven, 44 pigs are in hog heaven. It is not the life that Brinkley-Burgardt grew up with.
“I was a city girl,” she said with a laugh.
Yet, it’s the life she and her husband chose out on the Eastern Plains, by running this non-profit pot-bellied pig rescue and providing a half-dozen therapy pigs, too.
“We bring them primarily to Alzheimer’s facilities, all across the Denver Metro Area,” said Brinkley-Burgardt.
Now, some of these pigs will be used to highlight the potential for agritourism out on the Eastern Plains. This weekend kicks off the Annual Farm Festival, which is part of the “Colorado High Plains Adventure.” It’s an economic development effort from the I-70 Regional Advancement Economic Partnersip (REAP), to try and draw visitors to and from the metro area further east.
“Right now, it still seems it’s so far away to come out east to see anything in Bennett, Strasburg, Byers, Deer Trail,” said Sarah Barkman, manager of May Farms in Byers.
The farm festival will take place at May Farms this weekend.
“We grow grain corn, wheat and sweet corn,” Barkman said. “I think people need to understand where our food comes from, where our clothing come from and just to support local business in the area.”
They also get a chance to see what it’s like to live and work on the plains of Colorado -- pigs and all.
“They’re just amazing,” said Brinkley-Burgardt of Hog Haven.
The Fall Farm Festival will be held at May Farms in Byers both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, go to http://www.coloradohighplainsadventure.com/annual-farm-festival/
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