As the second largest industry in Minnesota, agriculture is extremely important to every Minnesotan, particularly those in rural areas. However, small family farmers are looking for ways to diversify their income and ensure profit long into the future. Agritourism has been suggested as one way to diversify their income. In general, agritourism is the practice of attracting tourists to an area used primarily for agricultural purposes. Considering the large impact that both agriculture and tourism have on the state of Minnesota, expanding agritourism opportunities may be an important boost to both economies. In 2008 the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), through its Community Assistantship Program (CAP), supported a research project to explore agritourism opportunities in Minnesota, particularly the concept of creating a network of 'farm stays' to be cooperatively marketed. The project included three key phases: complete a through exploration of farm stays currently operating in Minnesota and create a database, create a questionnaire and survey currently operating farm stays and interested farms or accommodation facilities that may meet the profile of a farm stay, complete site visits and phone interviews to develop case studies of currently operating farm stays.
Prepared in partnership with the Agricultural Alternatives by the Community Assistantship Program (CAP), administered by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.
Marketing Minnesota's Fields and Forests: Research on the Potential for Developing a Farm Stay Database and Joint Marketing Program in Minnesota.
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