Ag, Food & Nature Tourism

Ag, Food & Nature Tourism

Agritourism is the crossroads of agriculture, natural resources and tourism -- where the public visits farms, farmers' markets, wineries, community festivals, or other commercial enterprises to experience the out of doors; enjoy entertainment; participate in educational, heritage or recreational activities’ shop at a country store or stand; eat locally grown or locally prepared food; take a guided tour; and perhaps make overnight stays for an authentic experience (Adapted from Jane Eckert, Eckert AgriMarketing).

Types of Agritourism Enterprises

Agritourism enterprises are quite diverse – representing unique communities and opportunities across the state. Simple businesses, such as a roadside stands, offer locally grown foods to visitors traveling to and through a community. Other enterprises reach an intermediate level, offering activities such as with pick-your-own produce, tours, wagon rides, corn mazes, festivals, shopping, animal areas, and prepared foods. Some businesses become more sophisticated and provide a complete experience that includes major shopping, a full service restaurant, permanent restrooms, paved parking, and other guest services.

Farm-based recreation, a statistic profile, USDA

Innovative Agricultural Marketing, Examples from Direct Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Enterprises (PDF) - 128 pages, this may take several minutes to download. Click here for the Table of Contents

How to Develop an Agritourism Enterprise

  1. Decide what you want to offer. What makes you unique?
  2. Clarify who will visit and how you will market to and communicate with them.
  3. Take care of business issues (zoning, regulations, licenses, insurance, taxes, personnel, risk management, etc.)
  4. How much will it cost and how much money do you plan on making?

Levels of Agritourism (grow to the level that fits for you and your market)
Level 1 - Simple
Examples: Roadside stand, being a good grower, maybe a small school tour – mostly no interaction w/customer

Level 2 - Intermediate
Examples: PYO, wagon rides, corn mazes, festivals, shopping, animal areas, prepared foods

Level 3 - Complex & Sophisticated
Examples: Major shopping, full service restaurant, permanent restrooms, paved parking
(Jane Eckert, NAFDMA, 2003)

For business financing, management and marketing resources, visit the Business section of the Ohio Tourism Toolbox.

List your agritourism enterprise in the Ohio Buckeye Database
The Discover Ohio/BUCKEYE Database is the heart of the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism's efforts to provide information on all the great things there are to see and do here in Ohio. Thousands of potential travelers - and customers - visit or call 1-800-BUCKEYE looking for information every month. Some already know where they want to visit and are looking for information such as hours of operation and admission prices. Others may be looking for ideas for that perfect weekend getaway or family vacation. This free marketing tool is the place where you provide the information those travelers need. With just your e-mail address and the password you choose, you can submit and update the information those web visitors and callers could use to become customers. Please go to and fill out the form to get started on your free database listing.

List your agritourism enterprise in the Our Ohio, a resource for Ohio Farm Bureau Members.

North American Farm Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA)

Resources for Industry Professionals

Ohio Tourism Toolbox
Alternative Enterprises and Agritourism - USDA. National Resources Conservation Services
Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook
Agricultural Tourism - University of California. Small Farm Center
Agritourism Resources - University of Minnesota. Tourism Center
Haunted Attractions
Agritourism, Health & Safety Guidelines for Children
Tourism Trails Publications - Agritainment & Agritourism