Questions planners may anticipate regarding the agritourism industry’s farm-direct sales and other farm-based activities

Agritourism is becoming an increasingly important industry in the U.S. and throughout the world as people seek authentic, farm-based products and experiences. As the industry gains momentum, planners will probably see more inquiries from farms and farm-related businesses wishing to add or expand agritourism in their business mix.

A tool for planners

To help planners prepare for agritourism-related inquiries, this publication provides information about farm-based activities that research has identified as those most commonly practiced in the U.S.

The publication’s perspective includes activities practiced in Oregon and beyond. The broad view reflects the ongoing entrepreneurial effort of farm operators as well as government economic development and tourism professionals as they seek ideas from global sources to help improve business profitability and sustainability.

Agritourism activities are organized for clarity

Figure 1 illustrates a conceptual framework* that incorporates core and peripheral tiers, as well as five categories of activities:

  • Direct sales.
  • Education.
  • Hospitality.
  • Outdoor recreation.
  • Entertainment.

Agritourism activities fit within at least one of the five categories and may span multiple categories. This framework is not intended to be the final word. Rather, it is meant to stimulate and simplify conversations between planners, government officials, and agritourism farm operators.

Core and peripheral tiers of activities

Core activities take place on farms, are deeply connected to agriculture and are generally accepted as agritourism in the U.S. In contrast, peripheral activities may not be considered agritourism by some because they take place off the farm or are not deeply connected to agriculture.

Why this organizational effort makes a difference

A universal understanding of agritourism is needed for clear communication, reliable and consistent measurement, informed policies, and programs that support farms and their communities.

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  • *Source: Chase, L., Stewart, M., Schilling, B., Smith, B., & Walk, M.
    (2018). <a href="https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.081.016">Agritourism: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Industry Analysis.</a> Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(1), 13-19.

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