Increasing Economic Viability and Promoting Sustainable Agriculture through Agritourism

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $7,485.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Amy Ager
Hickory Nut Gap Farm – Spring House Meats


  • Agronomic: corn


  • Animal Production: winter forage
  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, urban/rural integration, community development


    The purpose of the project was to increase farm revenue through agritourism activities on a sustainably operated farm and, as a side effect, educate customers about sustainable agriculture. We carried out this objective by planting a corn maze that allowed people to enjoy and appreciate the farm and how we operate it sustainably. We reached approximately 4000 people either visiting or living in our area and exposed them to a working sustainably run farm. Through this process we developed new customer relations and tied people to our farm land by providing them with an atmosphere for a fun experience with their families and friends. We hope this connection to the land and the spreading of the story of sustainable agriculture in the mountains of Western North Carolina will bring people back to our farm, increasing our income and also helping our local economy.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.