Belle Chevre creamery

Tasia Malakasis, left, owner of the award-winning Belle Chevre creamery near Ardmore, checks a new batch of goat cheese as it is withdrawn from the extruder by her head cheese maker Viola Mills.

Area residents looking to deepen their understanding of the relationship between rural farmers and urban dwellers can register now for the annual Farm-City Tour set for Oct. 15.

This year’s tour will take guests to Alabama’s Rocket City area from Elkmont to Huntsville and then to Belle Mina.

Wallace State will provide a comfortable, air-conditioned bus that can seat up to 50 people. The tour is limited to 50 guests and anyone who wants attend must pre-register to reserve a seat.

The first stop on the tour will be the Belle Chevre Goat Cheese facility in Elkmont. Belle Chevre has been making fine goat’s milk cheeses for 30 years.

They are a passionate company dedicated to using time tested, even ancient, recipes with their own modern spin producing some of the best goat cheeses around.

Guests will tour the facility and experience a cheese tasting session afterwards.

The next stop will be at Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology.

The nonprofit institute is dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization.

Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and includes more than 30 diverse biotech companies on campus.

The tour will next head to an Auburn University Research Station in nearby Belle Mina.

After a lunch featuring an overstuffed sandwich from Apple Lane Farms, guests will take a short tour around the Research Station and learn about the agriculture research projects currently underway.

The tour will gather to depart at 8 a.m. and should arrive back by 3:30 p.m.

The cost for the tour, cheese tasting and lunch is $15, with sponsors paying for the remainder of the cost.

For more information, or to sign up, call the Cullman County Extension office at 256-737-9386 or email

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