New Jersey Embraces Agritourism

Despite the double whammy of an ongoing economic slump and weather related damage, New Jersey farmers are finding new ways to expand their businesses, thanks to the State Department of Agriculture.

For the past several years, American agricultural production has begun showing signs of trending local. That is to say, recent evidence suggests that small farmers are making a small resurgence and that consumption patterns demonstrate the increasing popularity of farmers markets that connect consumers with local producers.

In part, this dramatic change is due to increased federal efforts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Know Your Farmer Know Your Food campaign, for example, sought to increase local produce consumption through targeted ads.

State efforts, however, have also played a role. In New Jersey, the State Department of Agriculture and Department of Transportation have teamed up to offer farmers a unique marketing opportunity. Participating agritourism businesses can apply for highway signs directing drivers to their locations.

According to a recent press release by the NJDA, more than 23 agritourist businesses are participating in this program.

“People love to visit local farms at this time of year for Jersey Fresh apples and pumpkin picking, hayrides and corn mazes,” the release said. “The ability to place a series of directional signs on roadways leading to the farm will go a long way toward helping consumers reach their desired destination and increasing business for farmers.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer