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What is Agritourism?

Farm/ranch recreation refers to activities conducted on private agricultural lands, which might include fee-hunting and fishing, overnight stays, educational activities, etc. This category of tourism is a subset of a larger industry known as agritourism. Agritourism is "a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch, or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income for the owner."

Agritourism and nature-tourism enterprises might include:

  • Outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, wildlife study, horseback riding).
  • Educational experiences (cannery tours, cooking classes, or wine tasting).
  • Entertainment (harvest festivals or barn dances).
  • Hospitality services (farm stays, guided tours or outfitter services).
  • On-farm direct sales (u-pick operations or roadside stands).

Agritourism is a subset of a larger industry called rural tourism that includes resorts, off-site farmers' markets, non-profit agricultural tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to the countryside.

Rural Tourism differs from agritourism in two ways. First, rural tourism enterprises do not necessarily occur on a farm or ranch, or at an agricultural plant, they do not generate supplemental income for the agricultural enterprise.

Potential Enterprises:

Outdoor Recreation:

  • Horseback riding
  • Wildlife viewing & photography
  • Fee fishing
  • Camping/picnicking (combined)
  • Fee hunting
  • Wagon/sleigh rides
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Game preserve
  • Clay bird shooting
  • Off-road vehicles

Educational Experiences:

  • School tours
  • Garden/nursery tours
  • Winery tours
  • Agricultural technical tours
  • Historical agriculture exhibits
  • Crop sign I.D. program
  • Micro-brewery tours
  • Exotic animal farm

Direct Agricultural Sales:

  • On-farm sales
  • Roadside stand
  • Agriculture-related crafts/gifts
  • U-pick operations


  • Bed & breakfast inn
  • Farm/ranch vacations
  • Guest ranch
  • Youth exchange
  • Elder hostel


  • Concerts or special events
  • Festivals or fairs
  • Petting zoo
  • Hunting/working dog trials/training


  • Guide/outfitter operation
  • Farmers' market
  • Horse pack team

This Fact Sheet was adapted by Desmond Jolly, Cooperative Extension agricultural economist and director, UC Small Farm Program, from the Agri-tourism Workgroup and Resources, Oregon Department of Agriculture.