Northeast farmers are increasingly reliant on agritourism to expand farm income, create employment for family members, and strengthen relationships within the local community.
This multi-state (NJ, VT, DE, and ME) Professional Development project, led by Brian Schilling of Rutgers University, provided training to agricultural educators to better assist the farmers with whom they work to develop agritourism enterprises.
Training–focused on enterprise budgeting, liability assessment and risk management strategies associated with farm visitations, and marketing strategies–was delivered to more than 690 Extension educators, agency staff, and other agricultural service providers (including tourism and marketing professionals, economic development professionals, attorneys, farm lenders, etc.) and 760 farmers.
All educational resources were compiled onto a project website. Follow-up surveys revealed that 24 core project participants used these resources in their work with an estimated 1,681 farmers. As a result, providers said that 313 farmers made changes to their marketing practices, 207 improved their farm safety practices, 190 implemented liability and risk management strategies, and 126 implemented employee training procedures.
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