The Louisiana Agritourism Connection September 2016

Dora Ann Hatch  |  9/15/2016 2:08:37 PM

Agritourism, a business venture on a working farm, ranch or agricultural enterprise, is growing in popularity throughout the United States. Agritourism blends entertainment, education and tourism together to provide a fun, exciting and memorable get-away for school trips and family outings. This website provides educational resources to assist new and existing entrepreneurs in developing, expanding and improving their agritourism ventures.

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Topics covered in this newsletter include: announcement of workshops, home prepared food regulations, news about the recreation economy, outdoor classroom ideas, farm tour directory and the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival registration details.

LSU AgCenter To Offer Agritourism Financial and Legal Liabilities Workshops in Crowley and Bossier in November

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The LSU AgCenter was awarded a grant from the Southern Risk Management Education Center to offer four workshops to assist existing and potential agritourism operators. The first two workshops are planned in November to address questions about financial and legal liabilities. Experts in the field will be present to answer the questions. Staff Attorney Rusty Rumley from the National Agriculture Law Center will be the featured speaker.

To register send $15 may payable to “LSU AgCenter” with your name, address, email address and phone number to Dr. Maria Bampasidou, LSU AgCenter, 234 Martin Woodin Hall, Baton Rouge, La. 70803. For more information, contact Dora Ann Hatch at 318-927-9654 x229 or email her at

Click here for the brochure. An agenda and additional information also are available at

Tuesday, Nov. 8

9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station

1373 Caffey Road

Rayne, LA

Thursday, Nov. 10

9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station

262 Research Station Drive, Bossier City, LA

Home Food Preparers Can Sell up to $20,000 a Year

In 2014, the Louisiana legislature amended LA R.S. 40:4.9 to allow home preparers to sale up to $20,000 in low-risk foods. For a copy of the entire law go to: "Low risk foods" are identified in the law as:

(1) Baked goods, including breads, cakes, cookies, and pies.

(2) Candies.

(3) Cane Syrup

(4) Dried mixes.

(5) Honey and honeycomb products.

(6) Jams, jellies, and preserves.

(7) Pickles and acidified foods.

(8) Sauces and syrups.

(9) Spices.

The law also mandates that:

  • All low-risk foods prepared in the home for sale, must affix a label which clearly indicates that the food was not produced in a licensed or regulated facility.
  • The home preparer must apply for (a) Louisiana General Sales Tax Certificate from the Louisiana Department of Revenue and (b) a local sales tax certificate from the local taxing authority of any jurisdiction in which he intends to sell foods.

What is the Recreation Economy?

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“Recreation Economy” is a new term popping up in conversations in the outdoor industry and in rural communities. This term, although still undefined, addresses recreation in all forms normally found in rural America. It typically includes agritourism and the use of natural resources used in fishing, hunting, hiking, paddling, etc. USDA Rural Development is leading a task force nationally on the “Recreation Economy.”

New Hampshire Senator Shaheen and Colorado Senator Garners authored bills in Congress in 2015 that called for an assessment and analysis of the outdoor economy. In March of 2016, H.R.4665, the Outdoor REC Act of 2016, was introduced by Virginia’s Representative Beyer, then referred to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. If passed according to the bill description, the bill directs the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce to assess and analyze the outdoor recreation economy of the United States and the effects attributable to it on the overall U.S. economy. To follow the progress of the bill, go to and enter: H.R. 4665.

Add an Outdoor Classroom To Your Agritourism Operation

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So what is an outdoor classroom? The outdoor classroom is a place where students of all ages explore and play in an uncontrolled outdoor environment. The classroom does not have walls, air-conditioning or lighting and depends on Mother Nature for activities.

How do you create an outdoor classroom? A farm is perfect for the outdoor classroom it has all the basics: trees, grass, water, plants, open spaces and a shelter from the sun. The LSU AgCenter has online materials available to help develop your lesson plans on topics such as: horticulture, forestry, school gardening/nutrition, wildlife, etc.

Adding something new will keep visitors returning to your farm.

Add Your Venue to the Agritourism Farm Directory

farm tour brochure screen shotjpgIn June The Agritourism Farm Directory, a guide to farms that have received certification from the Louisiana Department of Ag and Forestry, was placed on our website. This certification means that the agritourism operator has written a plan of operation that includes safety checks to keep visitors safe. This directory is only for farms who offer field trips, but we are working on another directory that includes other operations. So, if you are an agritourism operator and wish to be included contact me by e-mail:

Yellow Rails and Rice Festival Scheduled November 2-6, 2016

The 8th annual Yellow Rails and Rice Festival registration opens August 1st. The festival is based in Jennings and its primary goal is to provide participants a unique venue to view Yellow rails while at the same time bring birders and farmers together to realize the value to birds of the area’s “working wetlands.” This agritourism festival is a must see.

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agritourism operations.
The schedule offers each participant a unique opportunity to view birds in their habitats. Register and see what it’s all about


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For more information:

contact Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator, at 318-927-9654 Ext. 229 or e-mail here at

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