Small farmers and acreage owners in Iowa are looking for opportunities to expand and diversify their operation. Agritourism has become an increasingly popular niche market that gives producers an opportunity to increase farm viability and connect with consumers. Opportunities to diversify small farms through agritourism include but are not limited to on-farm markets, fall festivals, u-picks, wineries, and on-farm dinners. This project will provide on-farm demonstrations from farmers with on-farm visitors to new or existing farmers with interest in expanding into agritourism. Financial sustainability through on-farm business and marketing, on-farm conservation practices, community engagement, and risk management best practices will be discussed by our partners.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Host a demonstration field trip tour with four smaller scale agritourism business owners in central Iowa to share experience and practical information with farmers and community members interested in agritourism. Education will include the benefits and challenges with financial sustainability markets, conservation practices and community engagement.
- Bring together 40 small farmers, acreage owners, industry members and extension personnel to look at lower financial investment opportunities for development and growth in the agritourism industry.
- Create networking opportunities for farmers and industry members to discuss on-farm marketing potential in Iowa.