Agritourism is growing business in Colorado
For the Fence Post
Agritourism is a new word that hasn’t been around long, but it’s making a dramatic impact on Colorado’s agricultural industry and economy.
Agritourism, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, covers a wide variety of recreational, educational and other leisure activities and services, provided by farmers and ranchers and experienced by consumers who value the activity or service they receive and seek it out.
Agritourism may be defined as activities, events and services related to agriculture that take place on or off the farm or ranch, and that connect consumers with the heritage, natural resource or culinary experience they value. There are three general classifications of agritourism activities – on-farm/ranch, food-based, and heritage activities.
“At a time when money is tight, families are looking for fun fall activities close to home,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture in a department press release.
“You don’t have to travel far to experience local agriculture,” she added. The department encourages visitors and Coloradans to experience the state’s agricultural heritage by visiting agritourism events and activities.
According to the latest Census of Agriculture, released in 2007, there were 679 Colorado farms that offered agritourism and recreational services, totaling nearly $33 million in farm income.
In 2006, the ag department said, more than 13 million visitors experienced agritourism in Colorado and the economic impact was $2.2 billion.
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