; Farm and Food Tourism: Exploring Opportunities in the West | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farm and Food Tourism: Exploring Opportunities in the West

Kynda Curtis and Susan Slocum


Food tourism has been hailed as a vehicle for regional development that can strengthen local production through backward linkages in tourism supply-chain partnerships. In rural areas where food production constitutes a large percentage of the economic output, food tourism offers new opportunities to promote and distribute local produce while providing an enhanced visitor experience through the expression of community identity and cultural distinctiveness. Food tourism is important in strengthening a region’s identity, sustaining cultural heritage, easing fears of global food homogenization, supporting a region’s economic and socio-cultural foundation, and facilitating support for family farms. Communities that embrace agritourism activities have shown to have an enhanced quality of life due to increased recreational opportunities, diversified economic bases, and retention of farmland. The ultimate policy agenda for uniting food production and tourism are two-fold: to fulfill utility goals that involve the contribution of the farming sector in the overall health of the economy; and enhance equity goals that focus on the provision of satisfactory incomes for rural populations.

This presentation will discuss the Farm and Food Tourism Extension program which focuses on disseminating best practices in food tourism enterprise development to Extension, Agency, and others working with agricultural producers and agritourism operators. A curriculum and web resources were developed and five workshops were offered in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. The project’s goal is to assist producers and agritourism operators in implementing food tourism enterprises as a diversification and revenue enhancement strategy.