WV farmers are exploring agritourism and farm-based education as emerging agribusiness opportunities because of their flexibility, and income-diversification and cash-flow potential for small operations. WV is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity having the highest family farms/capita in the nation and >20,000 small/part-time operations. Pre-project survey feedback and focus group discussions suggest a risk-management and business planning approach is needed to provide tools and strategies to evaluate and manage the potential risks and returns associated with agritourism and farm-based education enterprises.
This poster discusses priority areas and related risk-management tools in designing the ‘WV Agritourism Initiative,’ an agritourism and farm-based education short-course to enhance enterprise viability and profitability. Priority risk-management topics to be discussed include Emerging Opportunities and Consumer Demand - Assessing Your Agritourism Potential; the Business-Side of Agritourism – Profitability and Market Feasibility; Managing Legal Liability and Farm Safety Planning; Event and/or Education Curriculum Planning; and Building Collaborations, Partnerships and Networks.
Additionally, we highlight ‘best practices for sustained adult learning’ that were incorporated throughout the short-course, including strategies: to let learners contribute to content and outcomes, to uncover learners mental models, to link content to learner’s prior experiences, and to provide a safe environment for learning. These best practices are used to facilitate participants’ learning before, during and after the event.
This information can be adapted and used by other agricultural service providers and educations in designing their own educational activities for their respective clientele, leading to risk mitigation and sound enterprise decision-making, and sustained learning for adult learners.
|Conference||2015 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|