Primary Faculty Mentor Name

David Conner

Project Collaborators

Lisa Chase (principal investigator); Weiwei Wang; Doolarie Singh-Knights; Penny Leff; Mary Stewart; Cynthia Messer

Secondary Mentor NetID

LChase

Secondary Mentor Name

Lisa Chase

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Community Development and Applied Economics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Presentation Title

Critical Success Factors for Agritourism on Small and Medium Farms: A Multi-state Lens

Time

10:00 AM

Location

Chittenden Bank Room

Abstract

Rural communities nationwide are losing agricultural jobs, productive farmland, and access to local food as farms struggle to stay in business with decreasing commodity prices and global competition. Agritourism and direct sales, some of the most promising sectors of the agricultural economy for small and mid-sized farms, can directly supplement farm income while indirectly benefiting the larger rural community through economic diversification. Agritourism is often combined with food, tying into the demand for local food products and experiences.

Although agritourism and direct sales are growing areas of agricultural diversification, in many states support for these farm enterprises is underdeveloped and lacking technical assistance, infrastructure, and active networks of farmers and service providers to ensure best practices. In addition, few studies exist that examine the breadth of these opportunities available for farms that engage in agritourism. There is a need for exploring best management practices so that additional small and medium-sized farms can engage in agritourism and direct marketing and enhance financial outcomes as well as quality of life.

Our project investigates critical success factors for small and medium farms engaged in agritourism in 5 states—Vermont, California, Oregon, West Virginia and Minnesota. Using key informant interviews that will help inform a larger survey, the end result of this three-year project will be a toolkit that translates these critical success factors into best practices with decision aids and tools that can be readily adopted by farmers. My presentation will be the preliminary results from the 30 key informant interviews.

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Critical Success Factors for Agritourism on Small and Medium Farms: A Multi-state Lens

Rural communities nationwide are losing agricultural jobs, productive farmland, and access to local food as farms struggle to stay in business with decreasing commodity prices and global competition. Agritourism and direct sales, some of the most promising sectors of the agricultural economy for small and mid-sized farms, can directly supplement farm income while indirectly benefiting the larger rural community through economic diversification. Agritourism is often combined with food, tying into the demand for local food products and experiences.

Although agritourism and direct sales are growing areas of agricultural diversification, in many states support for these farm enterprises is underdeveloped and lacking technical assistance, infrastructure, and active networks of farmers and service providers to ensure best practices. In addition, few studies exist that examine the breadth of these opportunities available for farms that engage in agritourism. There is a need for exploring best management practices so that additional small and medium-sized farms can engage in agritourism and direct marketing and enhance financial outcomes as well as quality of life.

Our project investigates critical success factors for small and medium farms engaged in agritourism in 5 states—Vermont, California, Oregon, West Virginia and Minnesota. Using key informant interviews that will help inform a larger survey, the end result of this three-year project will be a toolkit that translates these critical success factors into best practices with decision aids and tools that can be readily adopted by farmers. My presentation will be the preliminary results from the 30 key informant interviews.