Celebrating the past, present and future of agriculture in Florida, the Florida Agricultural Museum in Palm Coast offers what Executive Director Kara Hoblick calls a “true Florida experience” – and that experience is something visitors are likely to remember for years to come.
“Florida is often associated with tourism – the theme parks and beaches, for example – but agriculture is the state’s No. 2 industry, coming in right behind tourism, and it is an integral part of what makes Florida so economically strong,” Hoblick says. “At the museum, it’s our job to tell the story of Florida agriculture and give people a look at how it’s grown and evolved over the years.”
Established in 1983, the museum is located on a 460-acre property that includes a variety of historic buildings that were relocated from other parts of the state. Visitors can explore the Whidden-Clark Homestead, which was built in 1880 and includes a sugarcane press, outdoor kitchen, chicken coop and other elements that offer a unique glimpse into 19th-century agrarian life, along with five citrus farm buildings from the 1920s and a 5,000-square-foot dairy barn built in the 1940s.
In addition, the Florida Agricultural Museum is home to heritage livestock breeds, including Florida Cracker cattle – one of the oldest breeds in the U.S. – as well as Florida Cracker horses and Florida Cracker sheep, all descendants of the animals introduced to the state by the Spaniards during the 1500s. The museum also lays claim to chickens, ducks, rabbits, a miniature donkey and a Piney Wood Rooter hog.
“Our animals are all part of our educational programming, and kids really love seeing them,” Hoblick says. “So many of our visitors have never seen farm animals, and in the future, we’ll be adding a petting barn so people can really get acquainted with them.”
The Florida Agricultural Museum offers horseback riding and lessons, too, plus guided trail rides on horseback. The property also hosts a farmers market on Thursdays from 8 a.m. until noon beginning in September and lasting through May, and there are special events at the museum throughout the year for all ages.
“This is most definitely not your typical museum,” Hoblick says. “The Florida Agricultural Museum is a place where you can have interactive, hands-on experiences while spending time outdoors and in historic buildings, and we’re proud to give visitors a slice of Florida that they don’t often get the chance to experience.”