Agritourism is a big part of Jeff Davis Parish.
It’s an agriculturally-based activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. And because Jeff Davis Parish is a rural parish, the Tourism Commission decided it was a great way to showcase their culture to visitors.
“We are one of the largest parishes that raises crawfish and rice so why not educate people on what we do in our parish?” says Dione Sablehaus, the marketing director for JDP Tourist Commission.
For the Tourist Commission, there was no better way to showcase Jeff Davis Parish.
“We were sitting around at a meeting, brainstorming and thinking about what kind of things we could promote in Jeff Davis Parish and we said we are a rural parish we have to rural tourism things.’ And my boss looked at me and said ‘well Burt you ought to do a crawfish tour,” explains Burt Tieje, owner of Tall Grass Farm.
He has been hosting crawfish tours on his farm for a decade since that conversation.
He tells News 10, people from all over the country and even the world have come to visit.
“Last Saturday, I had a group of 50 French-speaking toursits who were on the dock, and that’s typical, we get Canadians and people from all over of the United States. Everybody’s curious about crawfish.”
And the farm isn’t the only big tourist attraction in JDP; Gator Chateau sees about 100 to 300 people passing by every day.
Gator Chateau fosters rescued alligators until they can be released back into nature. Tourists can watch feedings and even hold the baby gators, all of which bring in a crowd from all over, says Gator Girl, Hailey Kunzler.
“We get people from every state. We’ve already got every state covered for this year and then we’ve had 29 countries so far this year.”