Local residents know that millions of visitors flock to Florida to visit its beaches, theme parks and other attractions each year. But many locals don’t know there are fun activities close to home.
Agritainment is a variation of agritourism, an industry that involves out-of-towners visiting farms for entertainment, educational or recreational purposes. It attracts local residents to farm activities, such as picking strawberries, visiting farm animals, or getting lost in a corn maze. Although it may sound like a new term, agritainment has been an alternative farm enterprise for more than 100 years.
By establishing an agritainment business, farmers can earn additional income, and locals can learn more about the agriculture industry.
Florida farmers interested in opening an agritainment business should consider the following steps:
- Learn about the different forms of agritainment ventures—direct sales, education, recreation and vacation—and think about what you envision on your farm.
- Consider what agritainment options are currently unavailable in your area, and take advantage of open markets. A unique product or brand is vital to success.
- Develop a business plan and structure that considers all operational and financial business aspects, as well as personal objectives and visions.
- Research the tourism industry, analyze the local market, and establish a marketing plan to attract local visitors.
- Follow risk management and government regulations for zoning, health, food service and more.
- Purchase liability insurance in the event that a visitor sues the farm. (A minimum $1 million policy is recommended.)
- Use advertising, promotions and publicity to draw in visitors and make your business well known.
- Constantly evaluate your business as a whole, and make improvements when possible.
Through preparation and research, farmers can develop a successful agritainment business that generates revenue and gives local residents a new perspective on agriculture.
Adapted and excerpted from:
N. McKenzie and A. Wysocki, “Agritainment: A Viable Option for Florida Producers” (RM008), UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department (rev. 02/2012).
W. Francesconi and T. Stein, “Expanding Florida’s Farming Business to Incorporate Tourism” (FOR187), School of Forest Resources and Conservation (rev. 06/2014).
“Agritainment,” Penn State Extension (Accessed 09/2015).
“Considering an Agritainment Enterprise in Tennessee,” University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service (Accessed 09/2015).