Agriculture is obviously a huge part of Madera County life.
In 2011, the county produced over $1.5 billion worth of agricultural goods — an increase of more than $200 thousand, or 16 percent than the year before.
Behind the scenes of the vast grape fields, almond orchards, or cattle ranches, however, a budding agricultural tourism industry has brought increased revenues as well — and a changed view of the county as a whole — officials say.
“Anybody who has spent time in Madera County knows agriculture is a main economic engine here,” said Jarrod Lyman, public relations director for the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, the county’s tourism department. “As such we have a lot of ag tourism opportunities, and a lot of room for growth, which is really exciting.” ...