- Education and Training: extension, networking, workshop
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, agricultural finance, value added, agritourism
- Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities, sustainability measures
Conversations with agritourism operators and potential agritourism operators revealed that business information specific to agritourism is lacking with most current programs focusing on idea sharing rather than agritourism business training. The University of Georgia, North Carolina State University, Fort Valley State University, North Carolina A & T, agricultural professionals and interested farmers will develop a workshop, agritourism manual, and web-based curriculum and other educational materials. A series of worksheets on evaluating market potential, legal and regulatory issues, developing budgets and worksheets allowing operators to evaluate the financial aspect of the agritourism operation. The educational materials will be focused on addressing the issues identified by the advisory committee. The educational manual and other resources will be created and used in the training. The participants will evaluate the workshop and accompanying educational materials upon completion of the workshop and then three months later. As a result of this training, Georgia and North Carolina will conduct an agritourism workshop. In addition agents will work with 10 farmers from each state.
Project objectives from proposal:
The objectives for the agritourism training program are:
1. After participating in the agritourism training workshop, extension agents and other agricultural professionals will have the background to identify issues that are significant to agritourism. The agents and farmers will use the manual to evaluate the economic feasibility of potential agritourism operations. The manual will allow the agents and farmers to work through the various regulatory, legal, marketing and financial issues facing agritourism operations and enable them to more effectively evaluate the business opportunity.
2. One hundred extension agents will learn how evaluate the feasibility of a new agritourism enterprise, identify legal and regulatory issues, and develop a marketing strategy in two-day agritourism workshops in Georgia and North Carolina. Tennessee and South Carolina extension agents will be invited to attend.
3. Fifty extension agents who cannot attend the workshop will complete the agritourism training via a web based and CD-ROM training.
4. The one hundred training participants will utilize the training and resources in their county. Twenty-five extension agents will organize agritourism programs as a result of the training.
5. Twenty farm families will explore agritourism as an opportunity to diversify their operations by using the resources developed from training.
6. As a result of this training, Georgia and North Carolina will conduct an agritourism workshop. In addition agents will work with 10 farmers from each state.
1. County agent/farmer advisory group will be formed to evaluate the training materials as the material is being developed. Recommendations will be incorporated as the materials are created.
2. The effectiveness of the agritourism training will be evaluated at the conclusion of the workshop.
3. Within a year of the training, follow-up phone evaluations will be conducted, the evaluation will asked for recommendations for future programs, changes in the education program made as result of the program, number of agritourism programs conducted in county and the number of individuals assisted. Comments and the evaluations will be posted on the direct marketing web site.