Alabama NewsCenter – Alabama Black Belt Cattle Ranching Embraces Birdwatchers, Ecotourism: The Alabama Weather Blog
By Cary Estes
The Joe family has farmed 200 acres of land in Alabama’s black belt for three generations, first as a vegetable farm before moving on to herding Black Angus cattle. The family has deep roots in this rich soil near the town of Newbern, and Christopher Joe, 37, doesn’t want that to change.
But Joe also recognizes that farm life isn’t everyone’s life, and some sort of change could be on the horizon as today’s cattle operation is run primarily by his father, Cornelius Joe, a schoolteacher. in retired agro-industry. So, a few years ago, Chris Joe started looking for ways to diversify the family farm.
The plan that emerged – offering birding tours on the property – surprised Joe himself. He was skeptical if it would spark any interest, but it turned out to be an idea that caught on quickly. Joe formed Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours LLC and hosted his first tour in February 2019. Three months later, 130 people showed up for a day trip.
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