GENESEE, N.Y. — Each year, thousands of visitors travel to the Genesee Valley Region (GVR) for its beauty and diversity. The region is comprised of nine counties in Western New York (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates County); including the Finger Lakes region, which covers about 50% of its total geographical area. Last year the Finger Lakes region alone welcomed over 5.5 million visitors, becoming the second largest tourist destination in New York State. According to a travel and tourism study, most of these travelers were leisure seekers, visiting in groups averaging 2.5 people and staying for about 3.5 days.
In addition, as people travel, they often look for new ways of entertainment. An increasingly popular and a growing opportunity for local agricultural producers is Agritourism – a niche sector of tourism. Farmers can tap into this large pool of potential customers and fulfill visitors’ desire for adventure and uniqueness by offering a wide variety of farm-based experiences.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County (CCE-Monroe) has developed an agritourism training program and invites farmers in the GVR wishing to start an agritourism venture, either as a primary business or as an add-on to their farm operations, to join this FREE training. The training is a one-year project funded by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority and administered by CCE-Monroe.
Through a series of workshops, customized farm visits, expert consultations and resource materials, farmers will learn to develop market and execute an agritourism activity that would best fit their farm operations.
The workshops are designed to cover key topics such as public presentation, marketing, social media, identifying target audiences, visitor safety, etc. The industry experts from the Monroe County Small Business Development Center, Visit Rochester, Cornell University faculty and staff, and owners of successful agritourism businesses will serve as consultants. Each farmer will be given free marketing materials to help them navigate through the process and to network with fellow farmers training via webinars to share their experience. To carry on the agritourism initiative, the farmers who want to share their learning with other farmers can do so at the workshop at the end of the project year.
For more information or to enroll visit here or contact Jarmila Haseler, Agricultural Educator, CCE-Monroe, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 585.753.2565.
Space is limited and registration is required. Enroll by Friday, May 31, 2019.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Monroe County
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