Integrating Nature into Agri-tourism

2008 Annual Report for CS07-057

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2007: $9,950.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Grant Recipient: Phillips Community College UA
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Kathy Radomski
Phillips Community College UA

Integrating Nature into Agri-tourism


Preparation for Nature of Agritourism Retreat

In 2008, preparation began for the Nature of Agritourism Retreat, to be held on February 7-12, 2009. The steering committee met on May 28, 2008 to plan curriculum, discuss field trip locations, potential instructors, and additional funding opportunities for the Retreat. In August 2008, planning conference calls were held semimonthly. Through phone calls and e-mails among the working committee, the schedule and speakers were finalized as well as locations for each class and field trip. Partnerships with various agencies were created and work was begun on developing promotional materials such as a website, registration flyer, poster, and e-postcard.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1. To plan a week-long workshop.

This objective was met through work by the steering and working committees. These committees were made up of people from Audubon Arkansas; Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas; 4Sight Development, LLC; University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oikos Enterprises, LLC; and local hunting lodge owners and farmers. A steering committee meeting was held in DeWitt, Arkansas to begin the planning process. Members of the committee discussed potential topics to be covered, instructors, and locations for classes and field trips. Further work was done through conference calls and e-mails to further refine the curriculum and agenda. Throughout the summer and fall of 2008, the agenda was finalized and instructors were recruited.

2. Develop an outreach plan and central message to educate the target audience about nature tourism and recruit participation in the Institute.

Elaine Nesmith of 4Sight Development, LLC and Kathy Radomski, Project Lead, devised a strategy for outreach and recruitment for the workshop. This strategy consisted of developing an e-postcard to be distributed electronically to every partner so that they in turn could distribute to their clients and interested parties. This electronic distribution reduced the amount of funds spent on printing brochures and postage for mailing brochures. Another part of the outreach plan was to develop a poster to be hung in every County Extension office in Arkansas as well as 30 offices in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The posters were developed and printed by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. The final aspect of the outreach plan was to set up a website where potential participants could find the agenda, instructor biographies, course and field trip descriptions, and register online. Fortunately, the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and other partners within the Arkansas Agritourism Alliance granted permission to house this information on their website as well as to help build the necessary pages.

3. Implement a week-long Institute

This objective was not met in 2008.

4. Conduct formative and summative evaluations to measure program impact and outreach.

This objective was not met in 2008.


As of December 31, 2008, the e-postcard, poster, and website were designed, functioning and/or distributed. E-mail distribution of the e-postcard and press releases had been distributed to state newspapers and other media outlets by the end of November, 2008. The working committee continued to engage new partners and request assistance with outreach activities. The primary accomplishment was the securing of regionally renowned speakers and presenters that provided an immersion experience for attendees. All field trip and classroom locations had been determined. Instructors were in place, and lodging and meal options had been determined.

Work to be done in 2009 included further distribution of the press release, posters, and e-postcard. Workshop logistics such as finalizing meals, lodging, and transportation for instructors and participants needed to be addressed. The committee also had to work on designing workshop items to be given to participants; such as t-shirts and notepads. All classroom and A/V equipment, copies of instructor class materials, and contracts with instructors for mileage reimbursement needed to be taken care of. Communicating with participants as to what to expect, what to bring, and other needs was also important.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The full impact of the work done in 2008 and February 2009 will be evaluated and reported in the 2009 reporting cycle. At the end of 2008, preliminary evaluations indicated progress was on track. Pre- and Post- workshop evaluations indicate that the February 2009 workshop was beneficial to attendees in helping them to understand the benefits of incorporating nature in agritourism as well as providing tools to proceed with agritourism development.


Katherine Radomski
SARE grant consultant
Phillips Community College UA
3503 Shoemaker Rd.
Hazel, KY 42049
Office Phone: 2707520061

Carolyn Turner
Vice Chancellor
Phillips Community College UA
P.O. Box 427
DeWitt, AR 72042
Office Phone: 2709463506