When people think of agriculture, some things that may come to mind are cows, pigs, corn and soybeans. However, industry has so much more to offer. From tree farming to wine production, the boundaries of the agriculture industry are much broader here in Indiana than you may think. Now more than ever, people in Indiana have the opportunity to get a front row seat to Indiana agriculture through its agritourism industry.
What is agritourism? Agritourism is simply the combination of agriculture and tourism. However, agritourism accomplishes the following:
Attracts members of the public to visit agriculture facilities
Increases the income of farms
Combines various elements of the tourism and agriculture industries
Provides entertainment, recreation or educational experiences for visitors
Let’s take a closer look at the agritourism industry in Indiana.
Why is agritourism important in Indiana?
Agritourism is becoming increasingly popular in Indiana, because it’s an industry that is beneficial for both the producer and the consumer. The producer (the farmer) often uses various types of agritourism to supplement their farm income. At the same time, Hoosiers’ curiosity about the rural agriculture experience and all that it entails continues to grow. Agritourism allows people to develop a stronger understanding of agriculture production through various activities.
Types of agritourism
There are three types of agritourism. These categories include:
Direct-market tourism – This is most commonly seen in the form of farmers’ markets or roadside produce stands. Such platforms provide farmers with the ability to sell their products directly to the consumer. Farmers can sell various fresh produce along with canned items such as jam and jellies or pre-canned vegetables. While consumers can often find similar products in the grocery store, the farmers’ products often have an added appeal of being “fresh from the farm” and local.
Experience and educational tourism – In this form of agritourism, the consumer gets hands- on experience in the agriculture industry. The most common examples of this type of agritourism are U-pick orchards or berry patches and farm animal petting zoos. The consumer is learning about the industry while also gaining either a specific agricultural product or enjoyment or education from a related experience.
Event and recreation tourism – This type of agritourism typically utilizes agricultural land for various profitable purposes. Examples include wine tasting at wineries, tree farms, corn mazes, public horseback riding and hayrides.
Agritourism ideas in Indiana
The agritourism industry in Indiana is growing exponentially. Indiana currently has more than 300 agritourism activity locations. You can also find 68 different orchards and 31 wineries across the state.
Fair Oaks Farms, located near Demotte, Indiana, is one of the most popular examples of agritourism you can find in the Hoosier state. This is one of the largest dairy farms in the nation, and it’s open year-round to visitors. You can also get up close to some of your favorite farm animals by visiting one of the many petting zoos in Indiana. During the winter months, it’s always worth a visit to a local tree farm to find the perfect tree for your family’s holiday.
Next time you are looking for a fun activity for your family, consider supporting your local farmers and visiting one of Indiana’s agritourism hot spots.