Have you ever thought of getting into agritourism? Agritourism is the act of inviting people to come to your farm or ranch and participate in on-farm activities. These activities can include U-pick operations, orchards, pumpkin patches, ranch/farm camps, on-farm retail stores, farm stays, wineries and vineyards, and much more. Here are five things to consider before you open your agritourism operation:
Location, Location, Location
The location of your facility is key to your success. If the property is too hard to access or is too far from a central access point or a town, it is less likely to be successful. The layout of the property is also a big consideration for your location. Is there enough room for parking? Will the parking be close enough to attractions or the main building for those with disabilities? Finally, you must think about your neighbors. Is your property close to a neighborhood? Will you be negatively affecting your neighbors?
Products and Services
What do you have to offer? What sets you apart from neighboring agritourism operations? Do you have the expertise to provide the service you would like to? If not, can you hire someone who has the expertise? Figuring out how you are going to stand out and what products you have that will set you apart is key to getting people to your farm.
Seasonality will dictate your cash flow, marketing, and other business decisions. How long (and what months) will you be open during the year? If you choose to be open year around, what products are you going to offer during the non-peak months that will continue to bring guests and customers to your farm?
Regulations, Liability, and Insurance
Your operation must have the proper facilities and sanitation to prevent the spread of disease/pathogens found on plants or animals (hand washing stations, hand sanitizer, etc.). You will need to consider what risk there might be to someone coming to your farm business and how you can reduce that risk. Also, have you discussed your plans with your insurance provider? Make sure that your insurance will provide you with the coverage you need.
If you are interested in talking through your future or current agritourism operation, KCARD has services to help you work through each piece of your operation. For more information on KCARD, give us a call at 859-550-3972 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.