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Health, Science and Environment

Michigan Farm Bureau and MSU Extension to host seminar series on agritourism

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Flickr | Jeanne Boyle
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/beesstudio/

With many small farms struggling to make ends meet, agritourism offers a solution. The Michigan Farm Bureau is partnering with Michigan State University Extension to provide a seminar series for Michigan farmers all about agritourism.

Many small farms are looking for new ways to diversify business outside of crops and livestock, and the Michigan Farm Bureau says agritourism may be the perfect way. The Bureau is working with MSU Extension to create a lecture series for farmers. The series will focus on how agritourism can help small farms, and how to work with local government restrictions.

Matt Kapp is the Government Relations Specialist for the Farm Bureau. He said the meetings will help show farmers how to jump hurdles presented by local governments.

“When farms have interest in adding ag-tourism to their operations, sometimes they meet resistance from their local government,” he said, “And the meetings Michigan Farm Bureau’s sponsoring, they’re going to talk about why ag-tourism is increasing in Michigan and how the community can benefit.”

Kapp said agritourism not only offers economic opportunities to farms, but priceless experiences for locals as well.

“Members of the community like having a you-pick strawberry patch in their community,” he said, “They also like corn mazes in their community so they can take their kids to the corn maze. Ag-tourism can provide all these opportunities to members of the community.”

Kapp said things such as pumpkin patches, on-the-farm weddings, and pick-your-own berries all fall under the agritourism umbrella. He said the seminar series will focus on how agritourism can help farms thrive, as well as how to overcome the more technical aspects of zoning and dealing with local government.

More information on the seminars can be found at: https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=2DBCB407A588EC1264EF65E6E22BABABAF9A85FEB2D90943A40EF154FF2C6715