Developing an Agri-Tourism Attraction in Alabama

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This publication is designed to assist farmers and entrepreneurs in deciding if agri-tourism could enhance their incomes and to provide the initial basic information needed for an individual to develop an agri-tourism attraction.
Agri-tourism has had a significant history, both in Europe and in selected segments of the United States, such as the West and upper Midwest. Europe has long had the concept of the farm stay, where travelers stay on a working farm for a holiday or vacation. Minnesota was in the forefront of the agritourism movement in the early ‘70s, but interest soon waned. By the late ‘90s, interest had again picked up, primarily because of farmers wanting to produce additional income to be able to stay in agriculture. Interest in this unique form of tourism continues to be on the rise around the country. From the farmers’ and entrepreneurs’ points of view, agri-tourism offers a source of supplemental income and an educational tool to explain agriculture to non-farm individuals. To tourists and tourism organizations, agri-tourism provides additional attractions and marketing opportunities, respectively.
Agri-tourism is a commercial enterprise at any agricultural site, including horticulture and agribusiness operations, conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental tourism income for the owner. The agritourism experience could involve the following activities:

  • Farm tours
  • Holiday visits and tours
  • Farm visits and stays
  • Hay rides
  • Roadside stands and markets
  • Barn dances
  • U-pick operations
  • Photography and painting
  • On-farm sales
  • Camping and picnicking
  • Festivals and fairs
  • Mazes (corn, hay)
  • Agriculture-related crafts and gifts
  • Habitat improvement projects
  • Guided crop tours
  • Bird watching
  • Garden and nursery tours
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Winery tours
  • Hunting dog training and competition
  • Historical agricultural exhibits
  • Trap and skeet shooting
  • Exotic animal farms
  • Fee fishing Farm skills and farm work
  • Fee hunting
  • Petting zoos
J. Thomas Chesnutt
Alabama Cooperative Extension System