Arkansas Officials to Support Agritourism

Over the past several years, small-scale farming has decreased in the United States. The accumulation of wealth in the hands of large-scale producers and major agribusinesses has led to fewer and fewer small, family farms.

As it becomes harder for smaller farms to stay in business, some farmers have turned to agritourism to make ends meet and to keep their farms open. Agritourism differs depending on region and climate, but can include activities from corn mazes, Christmas tree sales, horseback riding, and fruit picking.

As agritourism increases, Arkansas state officials have worked to expand the new industry. The State legislature recently passed a law limiting liability in case of injury, which would lower insurance costs for farm practicing agritourism. The State Department of Parks and Tourism recently added agritourism to its official website, and state officials have eased hunting regulations on farms.

In addition to official state action, other state officials are spearheading local initiatives. The Agriculture Division at the University of Arkansas, for example, is planning a conference within the next few months that would help farmers start their own agritourism ventures.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer