Agritourism: Increase Farm Income by Hosting Others on the Land

Examples | How Does it Work? | Resources | Learn More

Interested in expanding your agriculturally-based operation by bringing visitors to your farm or ranch? There are many options available to you! It’s best to base your agritourism operation on the existing strengths of your enterprise; if you have acres in the Conservation Reserve Program with many upland game birds, you might consider hosting hunters. Have existing grapevines on your place? How about teaching guests to make wine?

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Horseback Riding at Calamus Outfitters

Examples

Making Agritourism Work for You

Nebraska Sandhills Ranch – Calamus Outfitters

Calamus Outfitters is located on the Switzer Ranch, a fourth-generation cow/calf operation in the north central Nebraska Sandhills. The ranch offers a variety of activities including upland bird hunting, deer hunting, turkey hunting, bird watching, horseback riding, and adventures on the Calamus River.

Southwestern Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast – Inn Serendipity

Inn Serendipity is completely powered by the wind and sun, features seasonal vegetarian breakfasts mostly prepared with ingredients from the Inn’s organic gardens. The Inn also features workshops on food preservation, gardening and starting your own small business.

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Local, Organic Breakfast at Inn Serendipity

How Does it Work?

Using Conservation Reserve Program Land in Your Agritourism Operation:

What is the Conservation Reserve Program? CRP is a land set-aside program where landowners are paid to establish soil conserving and enriching plant mixes. Landowners are not allowed to harvest or graze the CRP acres except under emergency conditions. Establishment of CRP acres has led to human depopulation in some rural Midwest and Western counties.

CRP and Agritourism - Using CRP land for hunting and wildlife viewing positively impacts rural communities by increasing tourism and economic activity in your area. Hunting and recreational activities (hiking, horseback riding) are allowed on CRP land. You can even mow trails in your CRP to make walking and riding easier, just make sure to wait until ground-nesting birds are finished nesting before you mow.

Resources

Agritourism World: Get ideas for your own enterprise by browsing others’ agritourism operations.

University of California’s Small Farm Program: Excellent resources on planning and operating your own agritourism enterprise.

Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism Business Management Guide: Tools for planning and managing your enterprise from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Insurance requirements for agritourism activities – state tourism offices

Learn More

Contact Virginia Wolking, Rural Policy Organizer, (402) 687-2100 or virginiaw@cfra.org.