Five Categories of Agritourism Explained

A universal understanding of agritourism is needed for clear communication, reliable and consistent measurement, informed policies, and programs that support farms and their communities. To that end, a multi-state team developed a conceptual framework that incor­porates five major categories of activities, including direct sales, edu­cation, hospitality, outdoor recreation, and enter­tainment.  Specific core and peripheral agritourism activities fit within at least one of the five categories and may span multiple categories.

Core activities (farm stays, classes and tours, farm to table dinners and tastings, U-pick/cut, farm stands, festivals on-farm, corn maze/hay rides, and horseback riding) take place on farms, are deeply connected to agriculture, and are generally accepted as agritourism in the United States. In contrast, peripheral activities (fishing and hunting, wildlife viewing, concerts on-farm, agricultural fairs off-farm, outfitter services on-farm, hiking, art and photography, weddings on-farm, farmers' markets, and agricultural museums off-farm) may not be considered agritourism in some regions because they take place off the farm or are not deeply connected to agriculture.

This framework is not intended to be the final word. Rather, it is meant to stimulate discussion and debate that furthers our collective understanding of agritourism as it becomes an increasingly important industry in the United States and throughout the world.

Source: Chase, L.C., M. Stewart, B. Schilling, R. Smith, and M. Walk. 2018. Agritourism: A Conceptual Framework for Industry Analysis. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development 8(1):13–19