Agriculture usually brings up images of farmers and the countryside. However, since most people don’t live on farms anymore, you may feel very distant from them. But there is a way to visit a farm and support a small business!
Agritourism is the name of an industry that opens different types of agricultural businesses to the public. They can include orchards, pumpkin patches, vineyards, and farm stays. You can find agritourism all over the United States, so don’t think you won’t be able to find a fun venue.
So if you live in the city, does that lower your chances of finding an agritourism business? What if you want to have a more educational experience? Learn more about the different types of agritourism venues and where to find them!
What Is Agritourism?
Agritourism is a type of tourism that is related to agriculture. The US Department of Agriculture defines it as a business that connects agricultural production and processing with tourism. This attracts visitors for education and entertainment while generating income. Therefore, you can have fun while supporting a small business!
Types of Agritourism Experiences
While most people connect agriculture with farming, it’s much more! There are many facets to agriculture. This means there are just as many opportunities for tourism venues. So, you will indeed find something you and your family will enjoy!
This is one of the most common examples of agritourism. They can be a great fall activity for families and couples! They often feature a “U-Pick” pumpkin patch where you can pick your pumpkins. You may also be able to experience the next venue type: orchards!
Orchards or berry patches
Orchards and pumpkin patches almost go hand in hand. It’s an excellent way for farmers to extend their tourism season, depending on what fruit they grow. Many fruits ripen over the summer, while pumpkins don’t ripen until the fall.
Many businesses may also sell food or beverages from the fruits they grow. A great example is apple cider or berry tarts! These farms may also sell vegetables like sweet corn and squash.
This type of agritourism venue can either be a day trip or a weekend vacation! These businesses usually own lots of land and their own herd of friendly horses. Tourists can take a relaxing horse ride through the country with an experienced guide.
These tours give the tourist an educational experience about farm animals. Many people living in urban areas have never seen a cow or a sheep. Besides, a livestock farm is a great way to learn about animals and the farmers who raise them!
This is a more adult agritourism venue! Vineyards are a great place to unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery while sipping a great glass of wine. You may also be able to learn a little about the wine-making process. It’s both educational and fun!
The Healthy Travel Blog has more great information.
These are similar to the AirBnB experience. They vary a lot in the amenities they provide, but most of them let their guests experience life on a working farm. They may even offer classes on homesteading and growing your food.
Why Visit an Agritourism Venue?
There are a bunch of reasons to visit an agritourism venue. First, they’re fun and educational and bring consumers closer to their food! In addition, you and your family will learn a lot of valuable information about agriculture. People need to know where their food comes from, which is a great way to do it!
Farm Flavor offers more reasons to do agritourism.
Visiting an agritourism venue doesn’t just benefit you and your family. Historically, living off farming can be financially tricky because of the seasonality of the business. But by letting the public visit their farms, these farmers can make another source of income.
How to Find an Agritourism Business Near You
There are agritourism venues available all over the country! However, just because you live in an urban area doesn’t mean you won’t get to experience farming life. Visiting the USDA website is a great place to start. They have lots of information for those looking for venues!
Another place to look for more information is your state’s department of agriculture. Many states, like Missouri, have a website connecting you with local agritourism venues. You can even filter your search by what type of farm you want to visit!
Whether you’re an adult looking for a weekend getaway or a family looking for some fall fun, there will be an agritourism venue for you! It takes a little searching to find the perfect place to visit. Not only will you have fun, but you may learn something new in the process!
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Image by [Zen Chung]