Amazing Grace Family Farms: A Story of Fun Foods and Family Fun
From Farming Roots to Agritourism Heights
When a farm’s name is Amazing Grace Family Farms, you know there has to be a story of faith behind it. Owners, Justin and Kelly Mosley were raised in agriculture but when they learned about agritourism at a conference, their eyes were opened to a new realm of opportunity for their farm. Their journey has not been without challenges, yet through faith and hard work, they’ve built a place of community connection.
A Firm Farming Foundation
Justin and Kelly both grew up on small farms in Florida. Active in the farming industry from a young age, the two completed a two-year leadership development program with the Florida Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Committee. In 2010, the couple was awarded the Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award. They went on to compete at the national level and placed in the top 10. They remained active with the Farm Bureau and in 2012, Justin and Kelly attended a conference where they learned about agritourism. They were intrigued by the idea. There wasn’t anything like it in their area and Justin felt strongly that they could do it. After careful planning, in 2013, they hosted their first crop maze.
Building Agritourism Attractions
Open in the fall and spring seasons, Amazing Grace Family Farms is now home to a long list of agritourism attractions. From pumpkins to farm animals, sunflowers, and much more, there’s something for every age.
Their crop maze is a core tradition that guests love to visit year after year. You may wonder why it is called a crop maze and not a corn maze. That’s because it is actually a versatile crop called sorghum that is planted.
This year’s maze design holds a special meaning to the Mosleys and the community. It is a tribute to Levi Shepherd and the Dreams Come True organization. Levi was an incredible 9-year-old boy who inspired the farm to create attractions for children with special needs. Levi was diagnosed with two rare diseases that ultimately took his life in 2022, IHPRF Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Epilepsy. Levi’s father is Justin’s right-hand man at the farm, so their family is very dear to them. Dreams Come True is a wonderful organization that supports children with life-threatening illnesses. The Mosleys are donating a portion of this season’s ticket sales to provide a “dream” for another family in memory of Levi.
Kelly shares that the farm is a popular site for photo opportunities. The scenery is beautiful and because families often bring multiple generations, it is a prime time to take family photos. You can’t put a price on the memories that will last and be treasured through the years.
Amazing Grace also hosts school field trips throughout the fall, September through Thanksgiving. The farm has a variety of kid-friendly attractions:
- Barnyard Ball Zone
- Farm Animals
- Crop Maze
- Cow Trains
- Duck Races
- Barnyard Bounce Corral
- Jump Pads
- GaGa Ball Pit
- Corn Crib
- Hula Hoop Cows
- Pumpkin Patch
- 9 Square
Adding Fun Foods
At first, Amazing Grace did not sell concession foods. Then they talked to other farms that were experiencing success and a family friend who is a concessionaire with the Clay County Agricultural Fair introduced them to Gold Medal.
“Gold Medal provides great customer service and great products that sell well,” shares Kelly. She was impressed by the additional stream of revenue and profitability fun foods offered.
Currently, they sell kettle corn, funnel cakes, lemonade, and new to the farm this season, Frusheez® frozen slush drinks. The food is an area they look at expanding more in the future.
Now, Kelly offers advice to other farms interested in adding concession foods. She tells them, “Run, don’t walk! You’re missing out. It is not labor intensive and there are people who will help you get started.”
One of the biggest challenges Kelly and Justin faced with the farm was in 2022. Their area is in a rapidly growing part of Florida between Jacksonville and Gainesville. The farm’s location happened to be in the path of a planned highway project. As of January 2022, they no longer had a location for the farm. They were unsure if they would be able to relocate. But they felt called to continue farming and began to search for new land. Thankfully, they were able to close on a new property in May. And with much prayer and hard work, they were even able to be open for the fall season. 2023 marks the second season for the new location.
“The community loves the farm. People come from all over the region and comment on how much fun it is,” Kelly says. The Mosleys credit their staff (the majority of whom are teenagers) for their exceptional culture of safety and customer service. “We are committed to keeping everyone safe and happy,” said Kelly.
Amazing Grace Family Farms is making a positive difference in the lives of others. The success of the farm is based on the experience guests have. Kelly says that they regularly ask questions like, “Do they want to come back? Do they invite family and friends? Do they share posts on social media?” It’s all about building relationships. And Amazing Grace Family Farms is building the kind of relationships that last!
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