Question of the Week
Answer: Agritourism combines agricultural sales with on-farm entertainment or activities that involve the customers. These can include hayrides, mazes, pumpkin patches, farm tours, a bed and breakfast, or other endeavors.
"Pick-your-own" or "you-pick" operations allow customers to wander out into the fields or orchards to pick their own apples, berries, pumpkins, or other crops. Customers check in at the farmstand when finished and pay by weight or volume. This can be a fun activity, especially for kids, and can sometimes allow customers to get larger volumes at lower prices.
There are several advantages to incorporating agritourism into your farm. Doing so can allow you to:
• Diversify your farm business
• Attract customers willing to pay for an educational and entertaining experience
• Advertise your farm and your other enterprises
• Educate the next generation about agriculture and rural communities
• Sell value-added products through an on-farm store
There are several things to consider before you decide to add agritourism to your business, such as:
• You may have less privacy
• You will be interacting with a wide range of people
• You must focus on production as well as creating an attractive and safe customer experience
• You will need customer facilities, bathrooms, and hand-washing sinks
• You may need additional insurance
• Your location is important
• You may be expected to offer a discount in high-value you-pick crops
For more information, see the ATTRA publication, Tips for Selling with: Agritourism and "Pick-Your-Own" at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=400. This tip sheet highlights advantages, considerations, useful tips, and key questions you should ask yourself when considering these endeavors.
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