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Agricultural tourism is when people visit farms for entertainment, education or just to get away from the city. Agritourism is increasingly popular in the United States. It can add to farmers' profits or, in some cases, help them save their farms.

Farmers can sell farm-fresh products directly to the public. They can offer horseback riding. They can take paying visitors around their farm and explain agricultural methods. Or they can offer historic tours; for example, if their land was a battlefield in the Civil War.

Farmers can set up petting zoos for children to learn about farm animals. Or they can offer meeting places for people to gather in pleasant surroundings for special events.

The Department of Agriculture says more American farmers should consider developing agritourism businesses.

Many areas welcome it. For example, the town of Summerfield, North Carolina, is near a big city, Greensboro, but still has farms. Last week the Summerfield Town Council voted to add agricultural tourism to local development ordinances. Nearby areas already had rules to let farmers operate agritourism businesses.

Summerfield town planner Robin Smith says offering services and entertainment on farms can aid both the farmers and the community. Agritourism can help keep open lands from being developed. And people who visit a farm will often travel into the town center and spend money there as well.

Not too far from Baltimore, Maryland, is a place called Nixon's Farm. The land covers about sixty-seven hectares. They grow clover, corn and soybeans there. But Nixon's Farm also holds business meetings, weddings, family reunions and other events.

Randy Nixon manages the farm and the business. His parents began farming the land in nineteen fifty-two. His mother, Mildred, added the business for visitors in the nineteen seventies after his father died.

Mildred Nixon no longer cooks for visiting groups, as she loved to do. But her recipes for foods like fried chicken are still very popular with guests.

Randy Nixon says the business has become so successful, some events are already planned through two thousand nine.

I'm Steve Ember



Some 6,000 children, women, veterans and soldiers marched towards the Presidential Palace --known also as the Reunification Palace.

The celebration features patriotic songs and re-enactment dances.

Most of the spectators were war veterans and members of the ruling party.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung addressed the ceremony.

"I call on Vietnamese people at home and abroad to uphold the sense of patriotism, the tradition of humanity and tolerance; to rise above the past and differences; to sincerely engage in national reconciliation."

Phan Thi Thuy took part in the parade.

"I'm here today with many others and we are gathered to remember our country's memories. When I watch the reenactments, I am very touched by our nation's patriotism"

Also present were some of those who documented the deadly war, shocking international viewers who were previously unaware of the true horrors of conflict.

Tim Page is a former Vietnam War photographer.

"It's good to see Vietnam becoming robust, becoming strong, organized. I want to see the corruption gone."

The Liberation of Saigon not only marked the end of the war, but also a decade of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Political activist Tom Hayden was among the leaders of the anti-war movement at the time.

And He believes that the movement helped bring about change.

"You can tell from Vietnam there is a certain skepticism in America, what ever there religious disposition (khuynh hướng, thiên hướng) is. They do remember Vietnam, they do remember being sold a bill of goods and they remember all the boys that came back in body bags or limbless or had to go to the VA hospital that is underfunded. I think there is a healthy skepticism that would rise to the occasion if we got into a ground war big time."

Estimates of casualties during the Vietnam War reach into the millions.

The Vietnamese government has said it claimed the lives of up to 4 million people, while the U.S. Defense Ministry has said 58,000 U.S. troops were killed.

The war itself is remembered for having an extremely high percentage of civilian deaths.

Composed & Edited by Lê Quốc An