The Louisiana Agritourism Connection September 2011

Dora Ann Hatch  |  9/2/2011 10:57:59 PM

What is Agritourism?

girl with radishes

Agritourism is a business venture on a working farm, ranch or agricultural enterprise that offers educational and fun experiences for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner. Visitors participate in friendly “discovery” and learning activities in natural or agricultural settings.

The LSU AgCenter hosts a website and blog on agritourism. Agritourism ventures are listed on the MarketMaker website also. Select “find an agritourism operation” and one can select from facilities and offerings, activities and shopping.

Paddling and Canoeing Business Opportunities and Leasing for Profit on Your Farm Workshop, September 28-29 in Monroe


The workshop will focus on agritourism enterprise development of wildlife and water systems on farmlands. Guest speakers on the first day will talk about revenue potential, outdoor recreational opportunities on farmlands, legal concerns, wetland management for waterfowl, moist soil management, crawfish, fishing and bird-watching.

On the second day, Tom Potter, executive director of the North Carolina Paddle Trails, will provide information on the economic and social impacts of paddling. A panel of speakers will talk about how they became outfitters and river guides. Representatives from state parks, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and the National Wildlife Refuge Parks will talk about state and national opportunities for nature-based tourism in their respective areas. Later in the day panelists will focus on projects around the state focusing on paddling and nature and agricultural tourism.

Register by mail or online for the joint workshop hosted by the LSU AgCenter and Mississippi State University’s Natural Resource Enterprises Program. The workshop will be held at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe.

The registration fee is $75 for two days, $50 for one day and an optional $25 for a canoe trip with nationally known river guide John Ruskey in a ten-man canoe.

Locate An Agritourism Venture Using MarketMaker

Fall is the perfect time to go to the farm. We have lots of great agritourism fall trips from which to choose. Go to MarketMaker and select one near you. There are 23 ventures listed online. Just click on “agritourism” and find a venture near you by using your zip code to narrow your search.

Giant Pumpkin Contest


This year Curry Farms, Inc. in Start offered pumpkin seeds to youth interested in growing their own pumpkins. On Oct. 1, participants will weigh in their pumpkins and vie for a $500 grand prize. Curry Farms is located at 548 Robinson Drive in Start.

101 Ways to Grow Your Farm with Agritourism

I get lots of calls each week asking what can I do on my farm? If you have five or more acres you can become an agritourism operator. I recently found a FREE report online entitled, “101 Ways to Grow Your Farm with Agritourism.” Click here for your free copy. This free download from Greg Clement provides an impressive list of possibilities. If you see something you like, give me a call.

Learning Opportunities Out-of-State

Join the Networking Association for Farm Direct Marketing and Agritourism (NAFDMA) Advanced Learning Retreat at Roba Family Farms in Pennsylvania Oct. 29-Nov. 1. This event includes a bus tour, workshop, trade show and multi-session conference. To learn more click here.

New Marketing Idea--Quick Response Codes


Jane Eckert's latest article, "Smart Farms are Thinking Smart Phones," is a great read. Jane explains the new "QR" or quick response coding. She also provides links to farmers who are already using the new phone technology to market their businesses.

To use this technology, individuals must have a reader application installed on their smart phone. To use, point your phone at the QR code and receive immediate information. It's FREE and right at your fingertips. Learn more by clicking here.

To learn more about agritourism in Louisiana, contact Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator, at (318) 927-9654, Ext. 229, or e-mail her.
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