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The Yuma Visitor's Bureau is offering a hands-on look at Southwest farming.

"Agriculture is the number one industry in Yuma, which astounds some people because they think Arizona is nothing but dry, dusty airport," said Ann Walker with the Yuma Visitor's Bureau. She says people are surprised when they discover that Yuma is the nation's winter vegetable capital.

"We're supplying lettuce and winter vegetables to all of North America this time of year," she added.

Because of a growing interest in where food comes from and how food is produced, the Yuma Visitor's Bureau started the Field to Feast tours, which have sold-out for the past three years.

Visitors start with a food safety lesson and a chance to harvest produce for themselves in a field grown just for the picking at the University of Arizona research farm. Then, while a Yuma grower gives tour participants an insider's look at Yuma's vast and fertile fields, culinary students from Arizona Western College turn the morning's harvest into a farm-fresh lunch.

"People love the experience," said Walker.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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