I was recently asked to speak about agri-tourism and it made me sit back and think about the benefits of agritourism into our community.
A big part of having an agriculture business is the relationship with the communities. Most people with an agricultural business have a passion for it and want to share this with others. People visiting an agritourism business want to have a passion for a unique “experience.” To this end, it is important to understand what the community or public wants to get out of an agricultural experience. Here are some ideas to help you give communities the agriculture “experience” they are looking for:
- Provide something for the communities to see, touch, hear, smell, or taste.
Include demonstrations, shows/acts, or crafts. For instance, if you are showcasing your fresh garden vegetables, let the communities see how you use these veggies to make a pasta primavera dish. If you have wool from a sheep, let communities see how the sheerings become wool to use to make a sweater and let the children (and adults too) touch the sheering or have a turn sheering the sheep, if safe and practicable. If you have a honey business, let communities have a tasting. These are only a few ideas.
- Provide entertainment for the community.
Include an educational tour of your farm and/or facility at the very least. You can also host a small or large festival. Other ideas for entertainment include pick-your-own or a petting zoo or pony rides. More unique experience might include a farm school, kids’ camp, or farm stays – paid accommodation where the guests are actively engaged in farm labor and farm life for a day or two.
- Provide something for the community to purchase.
Although the two categories above will generate revenue, farm-to-table dining and farm stands or a farm store are additional ways to provide goods for the communities to purchase or consume. Of course, there are other things you could sell that are not unique to the agritourism industry, but appeal to communities universally by selling t-shirts with your logo, hats with your logo, etc.
Rincker Law is committed to providing legal services for different segments of the food and agriculture community, including agri-tourism/ agri-tainment.
How about rustic style weddings on the farm. Some element of environmental stewardship helps build some credibility.