What Is Agritourism?

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Cook's Bison Ranch in Wolcottville Indiana

Today’s society is said to be three generations removed from agriculture. Few adults and even fewer children have visited farms or seen a cow or pig up close.

“We’re an urban-centered population, and we’ve lost connection with our ag heritage and roots,” says John Bry, executive director of the Noble County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s important for people to know the story of where their food comes from.”

To re-engage the public with farms, the term “agritourism” was coined in the mid-1990s to describe enterprising farmers and ranchers inviting visitors to their operations. Visitors may learn how cows are milked and crops are raised, or trek through cornfields and berry patches.

“Agritourism tells the story of food and the people behind it,” Bry says. “They share their knowledge and experience while the public tastes, samples, participates and ask questions. It’s touristy, but it’s also reality. Our farm-to-fork tour is a great example of agritourism at work.”

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