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Getting Started with Agritourism

A farmer demonstrating to a mom and two children how to harvest flowers.

December 2, 2022

Are you an agricultural producer looking for a way to expand your market and engage customers in new and exciting ways? You might consider incorporating one or more agritourism activities on your farm. Agritourism is any secondary commercial enterprise incorporated into a working farm to provide enjoyment and education for visitors and to generate supplemental income for the farm. Agritourism can encompass all kinds of activities, including pick your own, farmstands, farm dinners, farm tours, overnight farm stays, hosting workshops, corn mazes and hayrides, concerts, weddings, summer camps, and more.

These activities have the potential to diversify and increase farm revenue while developing more meaningful relationships with your customers and giving them a chance to learn about farming and where their food comes from. Agritourism is a growing sector in Vermont and has received a lot of attention of late, with Governor Scott’s declaration of August 2022 as Agritourism Month, the International Workshop on Agritourism held in Burlington this summer, and the growth of many state-wide agritourism events such as Open Farm Week, Maple Open House Weekend, and Vermont Maple 100.

Incorporating agritourism on your farm can have many benefits but deciding what to do and how to get started can feel overwhelming. Here are a few of our favorite resources to help as you begin (or expand) your agritourism enterprise:

Informational Resources:

  • The Vermont Agritourism Collaborative provides information, resources, and connections for farmers offering agritourism experiences throughout Vermont. Their website includes information on how to get started with agritourism; types of farm experiences you can offer; financial and business planning; safety, liability, and regulations; and marketing.
    • Check out their Best Practices in Agritourism video series to see real examples of successful agritourism enterprises in Vermont.
    • The Best Practices in Agritourism Guide is a particularly useful resource for beginners.
  • University of Vermont Extension’s Agritourism Regulatory Guide helps you navigate the regulations, permits, and licenses required for different agritourism activities and find points of contact for questions and additional help.

Funding Opportunities:

Here are a few upcoming funding opportunities that can help support new or expanding agritourism projects:

  • The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative ARPA-Funded Primary Producer Impact Grant provides funding to primary producers of farm or forest products looking for funds to support market development, research and design, infrastructure improvements, energy projects, or workforce training and development. Award amounts range from $50,000-$250,000. Deadline December 16th.
  • The Community Recovery and Revitalization Program through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) will provide funding for capital improvement projects or capital expansions that were delayed due to the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. Both agricultural businesses and businesses that generate 50% revenue from ‘travel, tourism, and hospitality’ are eligible, which means this will potentially be a great fit for many agritourism projects. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, except during the first 30 days when applications for projects located outside Vermont's non-metropolitan statistical areas, from BIPOC owned or led organizations, and from organizations that primarily serve BIPOC populations will be prioritized for review.

Additionally, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets’ Agricultural Development Marketing Team offers support to producers interested in expanding into agritourism. Feel free to give us a call to ask questions or for help brainstorming ideas! You can reach us at 802-522-3742.


Thanks for reading the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets’ Marketing and Agritourism Blog! I’m your host, Kristen Brassard. I’m an Agriculture Development Specialist focused on marketing and events for farm and food businesses. I graduated with a master’s degree in Food Systems from the University of Vermont in 2021 and have nearly ten years’ experience in marketing and events planning. Stay tuned every other week for tips on marketing and incorporating agritourism practices on your farm. Be sure to sign up for our weekly Agricultural Development Newsletter so you never miss a post!

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