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Want to supplement your farm income? How about Agritourism?

internIf you think your farms are beautiful (and they are) others will too.

People traveling today want a more meaningful visitor experience and this does not have to mean an overnight stay. Walking through a farm field, helping to pick tomatoes or chile, packing a box for the farmers’ market, or simply enjoying a glass of lemonade on the porch of a farm house are within the realm of agritourism.  

I recently had a great conversation with Chris Goblet, former NM Beer Ambassador turned State Wine Steward. The vineyards in New Mexico, like most of the farms large and small, are full of charm, and many have views that inside establishments dream of. “As the oldest wine growing state in the country we have a lot to be proud of,” he told me. “Many of these operations have been around a long time and have views of the Sandia’s, the Jemez, and the Organ mountains. They’re gorgeous and visiting them should be a part of any tour of New Mexico.”  

In fact, engagement marketing, or advertising a more experiential vacation, is now a buzz word. And many farm operations are already taking advantage of it. Los Poblanos actively markets the Inn as a place pick lavender, walk the ditches and dine from the “purest field to fork menu.” 

On a smaller scale, Old Town Farm has been hosting Bike-In Coffee for several years now on the weekends with great success.

And what about all these pop-up dinners? A summer meal in the midst of an active farm is very appealing, for both out of towners as well as for locals. Dig & Serve has been successful in its pop-ups –targeting primarily locals who want a unique dining experience.   

Some things to consider when becoming a site for agri-tourists: 

  • First, you must have a business license and NM Gross Receipts Tax ID number. This is really easy to obtain. Call the NM Tax and Rev Department (505) 841-6200.  Then, contact your local government to see what kind of license you need. If you live in the Albuquerque, click here. If you live in Bernalillo County click here.
  • Then you might think about what your “experience” will be? If it is just walking, picking, or packing, you may only need to think about business strategies, like consistent visiting hours, a website with maps and directions, and liability insurance if someone trips and falls.  
  • If you want to serve food or beverage, you’ll have to go through a food safety training and obtain an environmental health permit. You can learn all you need about the process when you get your business license.  

For more information on how to engage in agritourism the following are good resources:

  1. New Mexico State University and the Department of Agriculture have been doing a lot of work around agritourism. Contact the Marketing and Development Division to learn about using the State’s branding on local food and agriculture products and get connected to their listing of agritourism sites.
  2. New Mexico’s nationally-recognized tourism campaign, New Mexico True, can be a boon to your effort. Contact the NM Tourism Departmentto find out more about using the State’s branding.
  3. The Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship did a study on agritourism with persuasive stats and terrific tips and pointers. Check it out here.  
  4. If you want to co-market your agritourism establishment or experience, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll try to connect you with others. Collective marketing and advertising makes budget sense.

View this and other ag news in the June issue of Local Food Connections



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