Agritourism workshop helps diversify

RBC I From spending a week working cattle on a ranch to taking a farm tour, agritourism activities are popping up across the state. To help farmers and ranchers learn more about agritourism, a workshop is scheduled for March 22 in Fairplay, Colo.
“Agritourism is a growing segment of the agriculture industry in Colorado and across the nation,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “This workshop is an opportunity for producers to learn about agritourism and see if it is a viable concept for their operation.”
According to a survey conducted by Colorado State University, in 2006 13.2 million visitors experienced agritourism in Colorado, with a total economic impact of $2.2 billion.
“Producers in Park County and across the state are looking at agritourism as a way to diversify,” said Linda Balough, executive director of the South Park National Heritage Area. “Our goal is to draw people to the historic farms and ranches in the area to experience first hand the rich heritage that continues to thrive here.
The full-day workshop is at the Park County Fairgrounds in Fairplay. The registration fee is $15 per person, which includes lunch and resource materials. The registration deadline is March 15. The workshop features sessions on liability, identifying markets, managing risk, heritage tourism and a panel discussion with agritourism business owners.
The workshop is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, Colorado Tourism Office and the South Park National Heritage Area. For more information or to register, visit www.coloradoagritourism.com.