Opportunities in Farm-Based Tourism (Agritourism)

Communities surrounded by farms have significant opportunities in farm based tourism activities.

The industry calls this type of tourism “Agri-tourism,” but it is not a word visitors understand. Visitors go to farms, and farm-based tourism businesses can be defined as any person or business actively engaged in the operation, management, or promotion of farm-related activities that can be enjoyed by the public. These activities serve as an important component of many farm operations, as a way to keep the farm in business and the land under family ownership.  For communities and small towns surrounded by farms, farm-based tourism offers unique opportunities not available in all locations.

Since it may be the only time visitors have had to experience a farm or ranch up close and personal, the farm becomes the face of farming, serving as a classroom where farmers can interpret farm life. Visitors want to be immersed in their experience, seeing, hearing, smelling, and above all tasting fresh food produced on the farm. Says one expert “since childhood, most non-farmers equate red barns, animals in pastures, blue overalls, and pitchforks with their idea of a farm.  Many visitors will have this storybook image in mind when visiting a farm, making it is important that farmers communicate that agriculture has changed from the “Old McDonald” image, and instead promote their farm as a modern business that integrates new technology with old-fashioned farming principles.

Case Studies

For communities surrounded by farms, farm-based tourism activities represent an attractive market.
Download the Agricultural Heritage Trail Case Study.