Agritourism Helps Farmers in Colorado
Farmers, ranchers and rural communities are finding agritourism an effective way to bring in extra family income. It is necessary for the survival of some small and mid-scale farms, ranches.
Experts at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis are helping farmers and others in the agricultural community understand the regulations, permits, insurance, marketing and other important considerations .
The nation's first online Graduate Certificate in Agritourism Management is being offered by Colorado State University.
Drs. Dawn Thilmany and Rebecca Hill from CSU say they've seen many farmers and ranchers in extension workshops who see the potential agritourism offers their communities. Very often these same folks don't know how to get started on their own properties.
Thilmany says the course is practical and hands on.
"We've even structured the assignment we gave so they can actually start building a business plan. And perhaps in the middle of the program they'll realize they have to do something different than what they had originally thought or they have to get another partner involved. We really structured this course to not only be educational but to be consulting. Take that idea or that seed of an idea and let us help you grow it through going through these courses and using these assignments in these courses to put detail to that plan."
She says the course if also for those in the tourism industry and chambers of commerce who want to learn how to attract visitors with ag partners.
"We did that purposefully so that it can be taken anywhere country wide."
The course is designed around 6 modules and is completely online so that anyone in a anywhere who has access to the internet can participate.
According the 2017 Census of Agriculture, " other farm related income" such as agritourism across the US, totaled $16.8 billion dollars