Agritourism is a growing industry and every state has its own definition of what agritourism is. In the state of Missouri, agritourism is defined as, “any activity which allows members of the general public for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes to view or enjoy rural activities, including but not limited to farming activities, ranching activities, or historic, cultural, or natural attractions…” 

Why has it grown in popularity? There are so many things to do, why agritourism?

For farmers and ranchers, it is a way to supplement income, build a relationship with consumers and help inform them of what goes on in the agriculture industry. Agritourism allows agriculturalists to supplement their income with on-farm sales, such as honey, fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese, ice cream, etc. Now, not everyone has bee hives, fruit trees, and some of the other items often sold, but why not just add in some things? 

In terms of building relationships with consumers and helping to inform them of what goes on in agriculture — the consumer gets to go to the farm and see first hand how things are ran. It also helps for them to be able to see a farmer as more of a person, not as some fictional character we see in movies or read about in books. 

Agritourism is something I have always found interesting — I have been blessed to be able to go on many ag tours in my lifetime through 4-H and FFA — and seeing it become something more widespread and accessible for the everyday Joe is awesome. 

Schiereck is the El Dorado Springs FFA chapter president. 

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