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County offers advice to farmers to develop Agritourism

May 5, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Farming may be a local occupation and custom for those who  live in the region, but for someone who lives in a big city, a farm presents an entirely different way of life and can be a real adventure.

While locals are used to seeing cattle and sheep and slowing down behind a farm vehicle on the road, a visit to an actual working farm by visitors and even local residents can be an exciting and new experience.

The County of Simcoe is offering advice through an Industry Toolkit to farmers who would like to take advantage of that curiosity by exploring ways of developing Agritourism on their property.

There are plenty of ways to make extra money on a farm.

This includes things like on-farm retail sales, farm tours, accommodations such as a bed and breakfast, and recreational activities like trail riding.

It could also include larger activities like farmer’s markets, events and festivals.

While the Toolkit focuses primarily on farm-based agritourism, it will also be of benefit to individuals interested in starting or developing off-farm agritourism operations.

Getting into agritourism can be an exciting opportunity, but it may not be for everyone.

Before starting, you should ask yourself if you are interested in promoting your particular product or brand, do you like interacting with other people on a regular basis, and do you enjoy educating people about your farm and agriculture business?

You should also take into consideration the fact that there are risks and liability when it comes to inviting people to your farm.

If the operation starts to grow, do you have a business plan and are open to the idea of hiring new employees?

Before you start, you will have to set goals for your new business, for the short, medium, and long term, and identify expenses and projected cashflow to have a successful operation.

You will also have to speak to the local municipal planning department to ensure your idea is permitted within local zoning and by-laws.

There’s no use setting up an entire operation only to learn that your idea of selling home-made gunpowder just won’t be allowed.

Then there are local by-laws that may restrict gathering or have noise restrictions if events are part of your plan.

This should all be checked out before you start getting serious about starting a new type of business on your property.

Taking advantage of agritourism can be a rewarding experience that provides a new revenue stream.

Planning everything in advance will help ensure smooth opening years of successful business.

You can learn more about the Toolkit by visiting

By Brian Lockhart

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