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Agritainment: How Farms Offer Fun Family Activities

Post written by Stacey Bruce

Now that the weather is changing, outdoor activities such as pools, beaches, sporting events, parks and the like less likely to entice a family excursion. To offer communities a fun alternative to out-door amusement, farms can leverage the fall, year-round activities that blend agriculture with entertainment.

Agritainment provides entertainment in an agricultural setting, such as fruit picking, hayrides, fairs, local festivals and more. According to the Penn State’s Agricultural Alternatives article “Agritainment” (PDF), agritainment activities are farm-related tourism or farm-related entertainment activities that are permitted or authorized in return for a fee on agricultural land for recreational or educational purposes.

There are many positives to launching an agritainment side of your business. It can increase revenue channels, brand awareness and community involvement. However, farms must do their due diligence and consider a variety of factors when looking to launch an agritainment element to their operations.

Below are a few points to consider when planning an agritainment operation.

Financial Considerations for Agritainment:

  • What are the various start-up costs for both land and facilities?
  • What permits are required?
  • How much labor will be needed to execute these activities?
  • What increases or breaks will you have on your taxes?
  • What is your risk management plan for animals, employees, patrons and property?
  • What insurance will be needed to protect you from additional or new liabilities?

Operational Considerations for Agritainment:

  • What activities can you offer patrons?
  • Are their zoning regulations restricting the use of your property?
  • How will your farm multitask and manage the additional responsibilities effectively?
  • Are you comfortable granting the public access to your property?

Activity Format Considerations:

When creating the format of your agritainment, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal is to provide entertainment that is unique to your farming operation. What will make the experience different at your facility than anywhere else?

Additionally, many agritainment businesses couple the activity with an educational component. Consider ways you can draw fun, but also provide educational incentives to increase the value a visit to your farm offers. This can be accomplished through tours of the facility, on-site staff to answer questions, videos and more.

Lastly, an incentive for farms is to increase potential profits through additional services. When launching an agritainment side of your business, what products or services can you sell to make the investment a source of viable revenue?

Readers Response: Does your farm offer agritainment activities or services?

What activities does your operation run, and what have you found successful through opening your business to these endeavors? We’d love to hear about your experiences and suggestions for fun farm activities!