Agritourism with a True Farm to Table Experience
Thursday, September 28, 2017
2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. EDT
CM | 3Add to My Log
Agritourism has become a popular business model as farmers attempt to diversify their operations and supplement their farming incomes. Simply Natural Creamery, a Jersey cow dairy farm located in Greene County, NC, has successfully created an environment where the public can engage in rural experiences and outdoor recreational activities, thereby forcing planners to acknowledge agriculture not only as a land use, but also as a business. Because of its proximity to larger metropolitan areas in Eastern North Carolina, the Creamery has been able to produce and distribute its products such as ice cream, milk and butter, throughout the region. The facility has created jobs, provided the public with an “eat local, shop local” experience and provided an educational destination which has numerous economic benefits to the surrounding communities. The farm illustrates sustainable ways to care for our rural landscapes and preserve the agricultural heritage of the local farming community. This type of agritourism encourages residents in the urban areas to become strong supporters of farms, forests and other agricultural land uses. Planning for agritourism requires attention to potential impacts to surrounding areas and changes to the overall character of the community. Discussions will include federal, state and local laws that can directly impact local agricultural uses and any potential challenges the dairy farm faces. By the end of the session, planners will have an understanding of the agritourism generated by the dairy farm, how it can provide a unique community identity and how the North Carolina General Statutes have been recently changed to better accommodate agritourism activities. Successful agritourism hinges on engaging local farmers early in the planning process, inviting local farm organizations to participate in the planning process and advising farmers on how to participate most effectively in the planning process.
Benjamin Howell, firstname.lastname@example.org