Agritourism development in Ontario County
Agritourism is a special enterprise or feature at a working farm to attract, educate, and inspire visitors. It can be a source of supplemental income for your farm and it really helps non-farmers understand the enormous effort it takes to run a farm.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County provides on-farm counseling and business advice for farms that are interested in or already hosting tourists and visitors.
We are particularly interested in setting up well-defined farm tourism packages and experiences. Bus tours, drop-in visitors, unique farm scenery, and wine trail connections are the most pressing agritourism needs.
Check out the best agritourism site around: Ontario County’s Agri-Venture website
"Getting Started in Agritourism" is a 34-page guide for farmers with tips on facilities, insurance considerations, and checklists (2008)
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County
(585) 394-3977 x 427
Email: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County
Most farm owners are paranoid about liability when visitors are at the farm. If you need help easing your concerns, you need to have proper visitor safety and health procedures in place – it’s not that hard, nor costly.
Below are links to three very good agritourism publications that focus on health and safety concerns (all from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety):
Agritourism: Health and Safety Guidelines for Children [PDF 2.9MB]
This 40-page booklet gives farm owners a lot of practical tips to reduce the risk of illness and injury to visitors, especially children, visiting the farm. It is important to keep things enjoyable and educational, while covering your bases for safety.
Agritourism Policies and Procedures Guide [PDF 485 KB]
Even though most farms do not have written plans that focus on visitor safety, it’s a good idea. This guide will make the process of developing written policies much easier. It covers emergencies, pre-arranged visits by groups, documentation, supervision of children, proper hand-washing, traffic and parking, fires, tractors and display equipment, locations for barriers and fencing, pest control, and hayride logistics.
Agritourism Worksite Checklist for Health and Safety [PDF 512 KB]
Of course you are busy all the time with farm chores. If you host visitors, you should take an hour or so to check the grounds of your farm personally. This checklist will make your inspection more organized and will reveal things you have not thought of – especially for guest communications, farm animals and hand-washing, walkways and barriers, food handling, and running hayrides and corn mazes.