UACES Facebook Agritourism in Arkansas - Farming tourism in the south

Agritourism in Arkansas

Dogwood Hills Guest FarmAgritourism is any activity, enterprise or business combining elements of agriculture and tourism. Frequently, agritourism provides educational or recreational experiences. It offers visitors something to see, something to do or something to buy. 

The possibilities are limitless, but some common examples include:

  • pumpkin patches
  • Christmas tree farms
  • wineries
  • fee hunting and fishing
  • agricultural festivals 
    and many others. 

Business Workshop for Landowners

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service & Mississippi State University hosted a business planning workshop to explore various types of outdoor businesses, including the pros and cons and income potential of each. Examples included outdoor recreation businesses such as hunting leases and agritourism. Workshop details are posted online at http://rockefellerinstitute.org/institute-programs/land2018.

Arkansas Agritourism Association

On February 26, 40 people attended a meeting to adopt bylaws and elect officers and regional representatives to officially create the Arkansas Agritourism Association. Ruth Pepler of Dogwood Hills Guest Farm (Searcy County) was elected President and is accepting membership applications.

Association objectives are:

  • Work collaboratively to address issues and challenges facing the agritourism industry.
  • Provide education for agritourism operators and new individuals and entities coming into the industry.
  • Facilitate networking opportunities among agritourism operators, resource providers, and potential markets.
  • Identify market opportunities and support market research.
  • Encourage public policy to support agritourism enterprises.
  • Support marketing efforts and promote the growth of agritourism throughout the state of Arkansas.

The Association has created a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Arkansas-Agritourism-Association-750327768403353/

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, and Arkansas Agriculture Department have been providing technical assistance to this group.

Considerations in starting an agritourism business:

For farmers, benefits include the potential to increase income, identify new customers, lose the middle man, build closer linkages to the nonagricultural business community and raise awareness of and appreciation for agricultural production.

Potential benefits to communities include increased tax base, new employment opportunities, educational opportunities for the public, preservation of rural way of life and economic development that can't be outsourced to other countries.

The following resources may help you determine whether agritourism is right for you:

 

Learn More