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Agritourism: Vacation on a Farm

Agritourism: Vacation on a Farm

Agritourism is a growing part of the tourism industry.

November 25, 2007 —

Looking for a new type of vacation? Maybe you should consider agritourism—agricultural tourism—where vacationers go to farms and can participate in a variety of farm activities.  such as picking fruit, harvesting, riding horses, and learning about how food is produced. A growing part of the tourism industry, agritourism is being touted as a way for local farmers to supplement their income, educate the public, and expand people’s appreciation of how food is made.

The growing interest in organic foods, local farms, and farmers’ markets has led a growing number of people to these functioning farms.  "It’s grown because more farmers are finding out it’s an important avenue to bring in revenue and stay on the farm" said Rich Pirog, associate director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.  " Secondarily, it’s increasing because we’ve moved to an experience economy. People want to have a farm experience.”

Agritourism, which is quite diverse, is especially attractive to urban dwellers.  Many farms offer bed and breakfasts, though many guests simply visit for the day.  For children, farm vacations provide access to farm animals such as ducks, goats, horses, and cows.  Many of the farms cater to tourists and ‘dude’ farms have existed for quite some time.  "Entertainment farms" have become more common in recent years—these farms allow vacationers to pick their fruit, ride animals, and provide other activities.

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