Agritourism is one of the most popular trends in small farms today. Some producers love to share their crops and pastures with guests, often taking the opportunity to educate people about farming and ranching, both conventional and alternative.
Is this an enterprise that you have considered adding to your farm? If so, you might be looking for ideas to make your agritourism venue unique. Yes, pumpkin patches, hay rides, petting zoos, bed and breakfasts, etc. are all fine. But how about something a little different?
Time to brainstorm! Here are a few innovative options that farmers are experimenting with:
- Guided birdwatching tours. A small farm in a rural setting often provides the diverse habitat that birds love. And if you love nothing better than to watch and talk birds, this could be just the enterprise that you are looking for.
- Rock hunting. Does your farm offer interesting geology? Share it with other rockhounds!
- Self-guided walking trails. Print out an interpretive brochure that highlights your farming practices and the various natural features of your property.
- Real-life work experience. Let your guests be farmers or cowboys for a day. Maybe they’ll get hooked.
- Sorghum cooking. Sugaring off was once a community event in the maple-growing parts of America. While Kansans may have a little trouble coming up with enough sugar maples to try this one, they can grow sweet sorghum!
- Adopt-an-animal (or tree or field). Then encourage your customers to come visit their adopted animal or plant and take home some of its produce.
- Sheep or cattle dog demonstrations. Who doesn’t love watching a good dog at work?
- Farm food festival. A combination of cooking and education can become a valuable promotion tool for direct marketers.
- Museum. Showcase farming practices, past and present. Highlight your town’s history. Explain the natural features of your farm. The possibilities are endless!
The sky is the limit when it comes to agritourism. Why not get off the beaten path and create a distinctive enterprise tailored to your unique circumstances? Look for innovative ways to share your family’s country living interest with your guests and customers.