What is Agritourism and How Can it Work for Your Farm
An increasingly popular and growing opportunity for agricultural producers is agritourism. This is generally defined as activities that include visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation to enjoy the rural setting, be educated, or be involved in a special activity.
Have you ever heard of agritourism before? It could certainly be an opportunity for you if you area land owner or are looking for someway to pivot your family farm into an attraction. Agritourism is generally defined as "activities that include visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation to enjoy the rural setting, be educated, or be involved in a special activity."
Do you remember visiting an apple orchard or a corn maze as a child? Or perhaps you have taken your children or grandchildren to a pumpkin patch that also had a haunted house. These are perfect examples of how some farmers have downshifted from a fully operational farm to a tourist attraction.
There are a lot of things to consider before you start growing pumpkins for people to come and pick, but it can be a way to continue the legacy of a family farm into a place that thousands of people can experience and enjoy for years to come.
If you and your family decide to develop an agritourism operation, it is imperative that you that the scale of the undertaking fits your lifestyle. There are many resources out there for one to explore to see if it is right for you.
Agritourism includes many areas of outdoor recreation, retreat, education, accommodation or entertainment. A few examples of agritourism are:
- Retreat and rendezvous centers;
- Nature centers;
- Farm tours for families and school children;
- Farm-based lodging and cross-country ski or snowshoe trails;
- Children’s educational day camps;
- Country overnight bed and breakfasts;
- Bird or big-game hunting preserves;
- Bird and wildlife watching;
- Corn mazes and haunted forests;
- Petting farms;
- Hands-on U-pick;
- Horse-back, hay, sleigh, vintage tractor, snow-machine or sled-dog rides.
- Farmers Markets;
- Rural weddings;