South Valley Farm takes steps to become a nonprofit and educate community about farming

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It is a beautiful fall day at McKellar family farms near Ivanhoe. Bob McKellar is a third generation farmer and recently turned part of his farm into a nonprofit.

"So we have 98 percent of people who don't know where their food comes from or how it's grown or any of that," said McKellar.

The nonprofit gives a riding tour to groups of people of all ages to show them the growing process.

McKellar grows five types of citrus at his Tulare County Farm.

"These have been sprayed with whitewash but that's a cutie. It'll be ripe in March."

Patrick Bracy brought his kids out to enjoy an outdoor classroom for the day.

"We take for granted who's actually producing our food. It's really nice for them to understand how it's actually done so they can get a greater appreciation for what it's really like," said Bracy.

McKellar even allows the visitors a chance to handpick the oranges just like his workers. He even had a few tips for me.

The farm gives tours to school children, seniors and a large number of international tourists who are on their way to Sequoia National Park. Even tourists from Canada and Europe have visited.

"We love the Germans. Germans are a kick in the fanny. They are so much fun. The German tours we get are all dairymen and so it's a lot of fun to explain orange growing to some dairymen," said McKellar.

He gets to teach them about California standards and how they grow the sweet citrus.

Whether it is tourists or kids, McKellar hopes they leave with a greater understanding and appreciation for farming.

McKellar Family Farms only has scheduled group tours. In the future, they plan to have self-guided tours so individuals and small groups can experience the scenery and rich agricultural roots.
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