INDIANAPOLIS — A hot topic at the recent Indiana Horticultural Congress and Trade Show was agriculture and culinary tourism around the state.

Mark Newman, the executive director for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, said tourism in general in Indiana is a $10.1 billion industry.

“Indiana is sixth in tourism. It takes 382 visitors to fund one job, which is pretty significant considering there are 70 million visitors who travel in and out of the state,” he said.

When discussing ag and culinary tourism, he said one should talk about them together because they connected.

“It’s hard to talk about one without the other,” Newman said, adding that both of the industries connect Indiana’s regions, communities and people.

More than 300 Hoosier farms, he noted, generate money for agritourism.

“The state has built a reputation on ag and culinary tourism,” Newman said, adding that 78 percent of people choose leisure travel destinations that combine activity with food.

He said that close to 83 percent of people enjoy learning about the local culture and cuisine of the destinations they visit.

“It’s not just about great food — it’s about having a great food in a great place,” he said.

Some places and activities that draw visitors to Indiana, Newman said, include the 31 covered bridges in Parke County, the persimmon festival in Lawrence County, where the focus is all things persimmon, and Bell Aquaculture in Albany, which is the largest producer of yellow perch.

Another huge agritourism site in the state, he said, is Fair Oaks Farm, where people who are several generations removed from farming can witness a calf being born and then walk over to the café and enjoy a freshly made milkshake and grilled cheese sandwich.

Along with the addition of the Legacy Farm Pig Adventure, he said Fair Oaks has its eyes set on ventures with hens and beef cattle.