By Cary Estes
The Joe family has been working a 200-acre plot of land in Alabama’s Black Belt for three generations, first as a vegetable farm before transitioning into raising Black Angus cattle. The family has deep roots in this rich soil near the town of Newbern, and 37-year-old Christopher Joe doesn’t want that to change.
But Joe also acknowledges that farm living is not the life for everyone, and some sort of change might be on the horizon since the current cattle operation is run primarily by his father, Cornelius Joe, a retired agribusiness teacher. So, a few years ago Chris Joe began looking for ways to diversify the family farm.
The plan that emerged – to offer bird-watching tours on the property – surprised Joe himself. He was skeptical whether it would generate any interest, but it turned out to be an idea that quickly took flight. Joe established Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours LLC and hosted his first tour in February 2019. Three months later, 130 people showed up for a single-day outing.
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