Agritourism: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Industry Analysis


  • Lisa C. Chase University of Vermont Extension
  • Mary Stewart Oregon State University Extension Service
  • Brian Schilling Rutgers University
  • Becky Smith Mississippi State University Extension
  • Michelle Walk Michigan State University Extension



Agritourism, Agrotourism, Agritainment, Culinary Tourism, Direct Sales, Farm-Based Education, Farm Stands, Farm Stays, Farm Tourism, Value-Added Agriculture


Visiting farms and ranches to experience agricul­ture and celebrate harvests is an age-old tradition. In the U.S. and many other countries, this tradition is the basis of an emerging industry known as “agritourism.” Although agritourism appears to be growing in many parts of the U.S., confusion about agritourism limits the ability of researchers and agricultural interests to fully understand this sector’s economic importance and to support its performance over time. A universal understanding of agritourism is needed for clear communication, reliable and consistent measurement, informed policies, and programs that support farms and ranches and their communities. To that end, the authors present a conceptual framework that incor­porates core and peripheral tiers, as well as five categories of activities, including direct sales, edu­cation, hospitality, outdoor recreation, and enter­tainment. The goal of this viewpoint is to stimulate commentary and debate that furthers our collective understanding of agritourism as it becomes an increasingly important industry in the U.S.

COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK on this proposed framework are welcome at JAFSCD's Facebook page!


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Author Biographies

Lisa C. Chase, University of Vermont Extension

University of Vermont Extension; 130 Austine Drive, Suite 300; Brattleboro, Vermont 05301

Mary Stewart, Oregon State University Extension Service

Oregon State University Extension Service; 1320 Capitol St. NE, Suite 110; Salem, Oregon 97301

Brian Schilling, Rutgers University

Rutgers University, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics; 55 Dudley Road; New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901

Becky Smith, Mississippi State University Extension

Mississippi State University Extension; Department of Agricultural Economics; 372 Lloyd Ricks Watson; Mississippi State, MS 39762

Michelle Walk, Michigan State University Extension

Michigan State University Extension; 319 Court Street; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 49783
Agritourism Proposed Framework image



How to Cite

Chase, L. C., Stewart, M., Schilling, B., Smith, B., & Walk, M. (2018). Agritourism: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Industry Analysis. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(1), 13–19.