What is Agritourism & Why is it Important to Kansas?
What is Agritourism?
Agritourism or agrotourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. These visitors may be in search of entertainment, education, or a myriad of other motivations. Examples could include corn mazes, pumpkin patches, u-pick farms, hayrack rides, dude ranches, or on-farm farmer's markets.
Why is Agritourism Important?
Agritourism provides a unique opportunity to bring growers and their communities together. This in turn creates a greater bond between local food growers and their customers, which benefits both parties. Additionally, agritourism can provide the public with educational opportunities, helps to preserve agricultural lands, and allows states to develop business enterprises.
What Agritourism Means to Kansas
Kansas landowners, farmers, and winery owners are realizing the benefits of tailoring their operations to tourism. It's becoming increasingly popular to engage tourists in agricultural activities, like picking strawberries or riding horses. As technology progresses and land development continues, these types of activities become increasingly more difficult to participate in in rural areas. Tourists find themselves seeking out this simpler way of life and find entertainment and value through encouraging the whole family to take part.
In a state that was traditionally thought of as nothing but flat farmland (as the ever popular Jason Aldean song suggests, Kansas is a "Flyover State"), agritourism can benefit the economy greatly by drawing in travelers from across the country to take part in these unique agricultural-based activities. While agritourism is becoming increasingly more popular, Kansas farmers could use your support in drawing more visitors to the state.
Here's a list of ways you can help:
- Visit your local farmer's market and purchase local-grown produce
- Take pictures and tag your local farm on social media
- Visit an agritourism destination and post about it on social media
- Recommend these farms to your friends and family as fun and different passtime activities
- Become a member of CSA (community supported agriculture) program
- Take part in local events and festivals put on by farmers in your area (such as Orie's Farm Fresh Garlic Fest)
Below is a list of agritourism destinations near Wichita, Kansas to help get your wheels turning. Search Google for agritourism in your area, or visit your local farmer's market and ask around!
Must-Visit Farms Near Wichita, Kansas
- Walter's Pumpkin Patch
- Elderslie Farm Blackberry Patch & Farm to Table Dinner
- Sargeant's Berry Farm (Strawberry Patch)
- Applejack Pumpkin Patch, Outdoor Market, and Petting Zoo
- Cox Farm
- Rommey Farms Story Walk (Coming Soon!)