Family-friendly, farm experience and spending time outside. These are the top reasons visitors to agritourism farms give when asked about their visit.
“Agritourism farms are unique destinations,” said Annie Baggett, agritourism marketing specialist for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “With close to two-thirds of visitors attending with families, including parents and grandparents, we think our state’s agritourism farms are the best family-friendly destinations in the state.”
Agritourism is defined as activities offered on working farms and other agricultural settings for entertainment or educational purposes. North Carolina has more than 750 agritourism farms.
Provides additional income to farmers
Agritourism activities range from you-pick farms, hayrides and farm tours, to dinners or even a destination for a wedding. Some farms offer camps and overnight stays as well. All of these activities supplement the income of working farmers. They also often provide jobs to members in the farm family.
Offers affordable getaways for families
Busy schedules and travel costs can limit the number of big weekend getaways a family can take. A visit to the farm is most often a day trip that can include a pre-packed picnic.
Enhances the tourism appeal of rural areas
Agritourism plays a role in revitalizing local economies by providing job opportunities and travel destinations in areas that typically don’t see a lot of tourists.
Educates the public about agriculture
Even though agriculture is our No. 1 industry, most people don’t live on the farm. Teaching and sharing where food comes from (spoiler alert – it’s not the grocery store) is ranked by farmers and visitors as being the single-most important role an agritourism farm plays. Farmers also rank improving relationships between farmers and the local community and sharing in agricultural heritage and rural lifestyle as important functions of agritourism.
Preserves farms and provides local food
As the state’s population grows, more land is developed to support this growth. Keeping a farm an active part of the community can help preserve it for future generations.
For a list of agritourism farms in North Carolina, visit www.ncagr.gov/markets/agritourism.