; Risk management training for agritourism operators; Supportive networks grow success | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Risk management training for agritourism operators; Supportive networks grow success

Penny Leff


Small-scale producers face significant financial and production risks which can be managed in part by careful diversification into new enterprises, including agritourism. However, agritourism enterprises also involve new financial, price, legal and social risks that must be understood and managed. The University of California Small Farm Program, funded by the Western Center for Risk Management Education, offered a series of three workshops in two different regions of California to teach producers risk management strategies for new agritourism enterprises or for developing existing agritourism businesses. More than half of the workshop participants were women, which is not surprising as women often take a primary role in the management of agritourism enterprises. A major goal of the project was to connect each participating producer with a supportive local network of agritourism advisors and peers.

This project used presentations by local experienced agritourism operators and other experts, individual and small-group exercises, readings and homework assignments to lead participants through evaluating possible enterprises, understanding risks, assessing the potential of their own farms or ranches, creating business, marketing and risk management plans, and initiating the implementation of those plans to reduce the risks of their new enterprises.

This concurrent session presentation will share the process of forming local planning teams, selection of local presenters, the use of hands-on exercises and small group discussions to encourage active participation, the challenges and successes of developing mentoring relationships, and some of the resulting plans for new agritourism enterprises and changes made to reduce risk in existing agritourism enterprises.

Presentation Materials