The Louisiana Agritourism Connection July 2011

Dora Ann Hatch  |  6/20/2011 7:02:19 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 getaway 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.

In this Edition

This edition offers information on Louisiana’s status in agritourism, horseback riding, canoeing, direct marketing, MarketMaker, sunflower trails, fall pumpkin growing contest, haycation and farm stay. A link is also provided for information on making and selling jams, jellies, preserves and honey products.

Curry Farms in National Spotlight


Bentley and Sandy Curry, owners of Curry Farms Inc., a pumpkin patch and Christmas tree plantation in Rayville, were featured in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia’s, quarterly publication, EconSouth. The couple’s interview along with pictures appeared in the section entitled, “Agritourism Takes Root in the Southeast.” Others interviewed were Dr. Kent Wolfe, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development; Jane Eckert, founder and CEO of Eckert AgriMarketing; and Dora Ann Hatch, agritourism coordinator for the LSU AgCenter. Click here to read the complete article.

WesMar Farms Participated in 2011 National Value Added Agriculture


Marguerite Constantine, of WesMar Farms Inc., served as a MarketMaker panelist at the 2011 National Value Added Agriculture Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pa., June 26-28. The event was hosted by Penn State University and Ohio State University. Constantine was chosen because of her experience and success in using MarketMaker to promote her business in Louisiana.

Horseback Riding and Tourism


The Louisiana Equine Council (LEC) is working to promote horseback riding as a tourism destination in Louisiana. They have partnered with the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism to locate places where equestrians can ride, stable and overnight on trail rides. Visit their website to learn what is available in your region of the state.

Horseback riding is just one of the many agritourism ventures included in the Louisiana Agritourism Limited Liability Legislation passed in 2008. To learn more, click here.

Direct Marketing Tips

Growing fruits and vegetables for some farmers is easy compared to selling the produce through farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) or roadside stands where earning the customers’ trust and loyalty is important.

MarketMaker Features Seasonal Produce

The new online tool, MarketMaker, provides a listing of in-season produce; a click on “peaches” takes you to a peach producer who has an online listing on MarketMaker. Listings are free. Follow the prompts on the homepage to register your business.

Sunflower Festival in Gilliam


Gilliam, a quiet town in north Louisiana, just hosted its annual Sunflower Festival the first weekend in June. This family-oriented festival pays tribute to the sunflower. Sunflowers line Highway 3049, creating a grand entrance into the town of Gilliam, where festival goers can pick their own sunflowers free of charge. The sunflower fields also make a great backdrop for children and family photos.

Create Your Own Farm Stay

Want to learn more about how to set up a farm stay? Read the farm stay manual from Minnesota that was done in collaboration with the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Renewing the Countryside and the University of Minnesota Tourism Center.

Social Media Expanding Agritourism Audience

The LSU AgCenter is using social media to expand our agritourism outreach. We have a website and blog site and now can be found on Twitter at AgritourismLady. Postings or tweets are uploaded weekly to inform our clientele about agritourism related topics.

Selling Jellies, Preserves, Jams, Honey and Honeycomb Products


A special Louisiana law, La R.S. 40:4.9, passed in 1991 and amended in 1995 and 1997, provides an opportunity for an individual to make jams and jellies in a home instead of a commercial kitchen if sales do not exceed $5,000 in a year. The state sanitary codes do not apply to these individuals, but the law should not be construed to imply that any unwholesome foods should be sold.


4-H and Curry Farms to Sponsor a Pumpkin Contest

Sandy and Bentley Curry, owners of Curry Farms Inc., are working with 4-H and FFA clubs to offer a pumpkin-growing contest. Participants must use seeds provided by Curry Farms. Details for the competition can be obtained from Kelley Hiemstra, 4-H coordinator for the LSU AgCenter’s northeast region.

Got Hay? Think Haycation


USA Today recently listed farm haycations as a tourist destination. Larry Bleiberg from USA TODAY wrote in his May 13 column about "10 Great Places for a Rural Haycation." Bleiberg encourages people to consider a farm vacation over the annual trip to the beach. He highlights things to do at each destination and provides contact information.

If you have considered opening your farm or ranch to visitors for overnight stays, this is a must read for you. The Farm Stay US group would be happy list your property, which also can be listed on MarketMaker. These are two great marketing resources to get the word out that you are open for business.

Paddling Workshop Rescheduled for September 28-29


The potential for flooding in the Vidalia area caused the postponement of the first Canoeing and Paddling Workshop offered by the LSU AgCenter and Mississippi State University. The workshop has been rescheduled for September 28-29. As details become available they will be posted to the  LSU AgCenter’s online calendar.

The workshop is designed for landowners to realize supplemental income from hunting, fishing, biding, wildlife viewing and paddling. This workshop will show how to enhance our vast farmlands in our state.

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