Agritourism ventures across the country are experiencing a boom, as the farm-to-fork and local food trends bring consumers back to rural America.
As a farmer, you stand to potentially benefit. Agritourism can help you diversify your operation, boost profits by selling directly to the consumer, create multiple streams of income, and help you to build deeper connections with customers who are then more apt to remain loyal to your business.
Though the definition of agritourism is a little slippery, data suggests that the agritourism business is in fact enjoying a resurgence. The USDA tallied 2012 receipts at $710 million – up 250% from 2002 receipts – accounting for on-farm activities only; not farm product sales.
- California and Texas are ahead in on-farm activities with $133 million and $65 million in on-farm activity receipts.
- Vineyard and winery tours are the top attraction for consumers.
- Farm tours for school kids are growing in popularity. Frequently, farm operations offer tours for free to bring more awareness to agricultural processes and their products.
- Other popular on-farm activities include pick-your-own berry harvesting, corn mazes, wildflower-seed farms, pumpkin patches, farmstead weddings, country cookouts, on-site farmers’ markets, and food festivals.
Successfully converting your farm into a tourism site requires that many factors be addressed prior to the launch of your on-farm business venture. The need to obtain financing is typically one of the common issues that face farmer-preneurs.
Understanding the farmland financing basics from an ag lending expert can help make the business development process run a little smoother. Contact us to discover how AgAmerica farm loans can potentially serve your business’ success. Whether you’re a part-time or full-time farmer, whether your farm is big or small in size, when it’s time to apply for an ag loan, it pays to work with a lender you can trust.