Agritourism can boost farmers’ revenue


A recent statewide study by Virginia Tech found that agritourism is not just a pleasant way to spend a Sunday — it’s also a viable way for farmers to supplement their income.

The study defined agritourism as a value-added activity that generates additional net farm income and creates a loyal consumer base for branded farm products.

“In addition to identifying impediments to the agritourism industry in general, the study dealt with a decline of midsize farms in the commonwealth, so finding ways to help the entrepreneur who would be likely to start a farming operation of this size was important,” said Gustavo Ferreira, assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics and Extension specialist.

The study, which had a response rate of 52 percent, found that half of the farmers who responded described themselves as somewhat profitable while roughly 10 percent identified themselves as very profitable.

Forty-two percent of operators surveyed stated that agritourism contributed between 76 and 100 percent of their farm income.