Presentation on theme: "Taking your Farm Destination to the Next Level Southern New England Agritourism Business Conference March 3, 2010 Stu Nunnery, RICAPE."— Presentation transcript:
Taking your Farm Destination to the Next Level Southern New England Agritourism Business Conference March 3, 2010 Stu Nunnery, RICAPE
Goals for Today Colleagues not competitors. Identify our common interest to generate on-farm revenues through agritourism. Share information &experiences. Review challenges and opportunities.
Goals for today Identify services in the region – NEFW, CT Grown, VNE and other partners that are focused on you and agritourism. Link our efforts across state lines to sustain farms, farmers and grow this industry. Answer the question – “What’s next for you and for agritourism?”
New England FarmWays 2005, RICAPE 501c3 non- profit Training, Information and promotional hub for agritourism in RI/SNE Subscription Service/memberships Website, weekly newsletter Farm Site assessments Liaison work with travel and tourism, business and philanthropic communities town councils, planning and zoning boards Maintain media presence
New England FarmWays Seven State Partnership – West Virginia to Maine– State agencies, colleges and universities, non profits and small businesses SARE Grant awarded to the Partnership in 2008 to support a regional agritourism information transfer and training initiative that was launched last year at SNE and continues
New England FarmWays For the Public: social and educational events - Feast in the Field, Sensory Sojourns, etc. This year – 90-sec TV spots in all seven NE markets for 35 weeks promoting farm visits in New England Corporate sponsorships for events More training events, webinars Growing membership Partnerships/JWU
The Agricultural Business Model – Production & Regulatory focus Requires various agricultural and business Skills Crops & Livestock Production of commodities, farm and value-added products Marketing of same.
The Agritourism Business Model Focus on visitor services Interdependent businesses across multiple sectors Requires new business skills Involves multiple enterprises The Farm IS the product Selling the Farm “Experience.”
The Agricultural Business Model Wholesale at market/retail at farmer’s markets Business plans Risk management/labor The usual costs Dependence on AG service providers – USDA, FSA, NRCS and state Depts. of AG Commitment
The Agritourism Business Model – The Shifting Sands Retail on site Site assessments, Marketing plans New risk exposures Costs with an emphasis on Value New service providers in various sectors of the economy
Survey Results – 230 Respondents Capturing new customers Marketing materials, strategies Retail merchandising, point of sale and pricing Start ups Farm stands The internet Right to Farm, Local Ordinances Crops and Value added products Field activities for visitors Farm Site Assessments
Opportunities The small business community has many resources and services available to you. 30M visitors within a days drive Agriculture’s profile is improving AT one of fastest growing sectors of tourism nationwide New England is the direct marketing capital of the US
Opportunities The local food and local farm scene touches every base. Tourism preferences are for the “authentic.” History of the region plays into and off the farm setting. Demand from tour operators is surging. In region marketing support is growing NEFW, VNE, state agencies, CVB’s, Discover NE, etc. Agritourism is an integral part of the sustainability movement.
Challenges Assumptions: All this good news means more visitors, more revenue. Right to farm is a license. Everyone wants to come to the farm. Cost is no object on the farm. Local support means state support & town support.
Challenges State Depts. Of Ag are being downsized and under-funded No uniform definition of agriculture at the local level - “agricultural activity,” “alternative enterprises” are open for interpretation and/or are missing from the language in comp plans and zoning regulations Need for more training, technical assistance and marketing support - specifically for agritourism Need for more grants, capital and easy credit, Pesky taxes, and……