Agritourism is an activity carried out on a farm or ranch that allows members of the general public to view or participate in agricultural activities for recreational, entertainment, and/or educational purposes. With visitor interest continuing to demand more authentic, experiential, off-the-beaten-path travel, agritourism was defined as a niche area of development for the South Dakota Department of Tourism in 2017.
Do you wonder if agritourism is right for you? Adding an agritourism enterprise to an existing farm or ranch operation may not be for everyone. Remember, agritourism is part of the hospitality industry. Ask yourself the following questions to see if it seems to be a good fit:
- Do you enjoy entertaining guests?
- Can you manage additional business responsibilities associated with an agritourism operation (including marketing, employee management, and customer relations)?
- Can you create a safe, inviting atmosphere for people visiting your operation?
- Are you willing to create the ideal experience for your customers?
- Do you have a passion for sharing agriculture with the public?
Interested in learning more about agritourism? In partnership with SDSU Extension and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the South Dakota Department of Tourism welcomes you to apply for the upcoming AgritourismSD 2021-2023 class. Applications are due April 1, 2021, and the program kicks off in May 2021.
AgritourismSD is a two-year, intensive program focused on providing the tools and skills needed to develop a successful agritourism enterprise. Over 24 months, there will be eight two-day, in-person workshops providing in-depth information to help you build a successful agritourism enterprise.
Questions regarding AgritourismSD can be answered by joining one of the informational webinars being held on March 8 and March 15 (7:30 p.m. Central/6:30 p.m. Mountain). The webinars will cover program objectives, the application process, and general questions and answers.
South Dakota Agritourism Work Group
The South Dakota Agritourism Work Group was formed in 2017. The Work Group encourages, promotes and supports agritourism in South Dakota. Members of the group consist of several local, state and federal organizations who offer guidance and resources for starting an agritourism enterprise and help to support agritourism development in South Dakota
Members of the South Dakota Agritourism Work Group include:
- South Dakota Department of Tourism
- South Dakota Department of Agriculture
- South Dakota Specialty Producers Association
- South Dakota Value Added Ag Development Center
- SDSU Extension
- Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of South Dakota
- USDA Rural Development
- South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Experience Sioux Falls
- Southeast Technical Institute
Please contact Jacey Ellsworth, Industry Outreach & Development Representative, for more information at 605-773-3301 or [email protected].