Millennial and Food, Photo by Mary Peabody
Agritourism – Bringing people back to the farm!
More and more people are showing interest in having an agritourism experience. It may be picking fruits and vegetables or a wine tasting or a corn maze. Others are interested in learning how their food is grown and others want to purchase local foods. And the list goes on.
Many small farmers and ranchers are looking at responding to this growing interest by starting a agritourism venture alongside their ongoing enterprise. However in lots of cases, the agritourism business is substantially different than their current business and requires different skills, talents, and marketing
Extension across the country has stepped up to provide educational programs to cover these new areas of education and support that agritourism operators are requesting. An example of a recent effort has been the University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farm Program. It has provided lunchtime webinars, led by Penny Leff, as part of their offerings.
The webinars were recorded and offer tips on marketing as well as negotiating regulatory issues. And you can find more agritourism resources on their website. A colleague and I have done several articles on the topic including:
Agritourism is an opportunity that continues to grow. Check it out to see if it might be right for you.
Getting the most out of any business requires constant adjustment and fine-tuning. Agritourism businesses need the same thing as noted in this blog post by Michigan State University Extension.
In the post, they pulled together three tools to help you take a good look at your agritourism business. These tools came from the University of Vermont Extension, University of California Extension and Louisiana State University Extension.
You may also want to look at a resource booklet from Oklahoma and another from Oregon.
Agritourism offers some great opportunities to develop additional income from available resources. Achieving that goal requires you manage it like any other business. These guides can help.
Still wondering if agritourism is an opportunity for you? Here are four farms that made it work. They are just a small sample of what there is to offer.
Red River Trail Vineyard, by Glenn Muske
More and more agritourism businesses are springing up around the U.S. and worldwide.
People are desiring to experience the open spaces, sounds, and sights that you can get on an agritourism adventure. Plus many desire to again see some of the things they experienced or the things they have heard their parents or grandparents discuss. Plus there are the foods. Yum!!
If you are interested in starting such a business, there are many avenues for help. Marketing Agritourism Online is available here at Power of Business as is a past chat with an agritourism operator, Liberty Hill Farm. Recently, Louisiana Agritourism did a blog post on “12 steps to a Successful Agritourism Business.” The LSU Ag Center offers more help on their agritourism website. Other states also offer similar information.
So if you think agritourism is for you, you can find lots of information. And stay tuned to more chats we will be having plus check out our newsletters for more information to help you develop a successful business.