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?
In partnership with SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Tourism is eager to kick off the 2021-2023 class of AgritourismSD. Applications were due April 1, 2021, and the program begins 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 build a successful agritourism enterprise.
If you have questions about agritourism and/or AgritourismSD, watch this recording of the informational webinar and review the presentation deck from March 15, and/or watch this recording of the webinar from March 25.
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 & Natural Resources
- 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 College
South Dakota Agritourism Liability Work Group
The South Dakota Agritourism Liability Work Group was formed in June 2021. During our efforts to build awareness about this niche area of development, one concern has been repeatedly heard from agriculture producers wanting to start or expand an agritourism venture on their farm or ranch: Liability. In order to address this concern, a work group has been formed to review South Dakota’s current agritourism liability statutes, identify whether or not they are sufficient, and, if not deemed sufficient, consider drafting legislation to strengthen South Dakota’s liability statutes to lessen the liability risk for agritourism operators.
Members of the South Dakota Agritourism Liability Work Group include:
- Kirk Hulstein, South Dakota Dept. of Tourism
- Jacey Ellsworth, South Dakota Dept. of Tourism
- Bailey Carlsen, South Dakota Dept. of Tourism
- Ann Holzhauser, South Dakota Attorney General's Office
- Jason Simmons, South Dakota Dept. of Ag and Natural Resources
- Jon Kotilnek, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks
- Bob Weyrich, South Dakota Small Business Development Center
- Peggy Schlechter, SDSU Extension Community Vitality
- Julie Smoragiewitz, Yak Ridge Cabins and Farmstead
- Brenda Forman, Ag United
- Emily Mueller, Big Stone Pumpkin Patch
- Beth Simonson, Hydeout Bed and Breakfast
- Representative Sydney Davis, SD Legislator
- Senator John Wiik, SD Legislator
- Senator Gary Cammack, SD Legislator
- Mike Traxinger, Agtegra Cooperative
Please contact Jacey Ellsworth, Industry Outreach & Development Representative, for more information at 605-773-3301 or [email protected].