AMES, Iowa – Visiting an operating farm can be a tremendous learning experience, and a fun experience. Seeing how the farm operates and the effort that goes into growing crops or raising livestock provides a fresh appreciation for the food we consume every day.
To encourage visits to farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has relaunched its Visit Iowa Farms website at www.visitiowafarms.org. The website serves as a database of farms across the state willing to host visitors.
“Users are now able to find a farm by adventure type, county or distance from a specific location,” said Alyssa Dick, agritourism program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “We hope the newly designed website is more easily accessible for users to find farms across the state.”
Agritourism continues to grow in the state of Iowa. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture there were 275 farms in the state open to the public.
Farmers wanting to list their operations on the Visit Iowa Farms website can register through the site. After a review by the site’s editors, the farm will be added to the directory. There is no charge for listing an operation on the website.
There are also resources for farmers such as producer regulations, business and marketing planning and legal considerations. These resources will help farmers as they set up and publicize their agritourism operation.
“The website is an easy way to find information that can help farmers improve their agritourism businesses,” Dick said. “Farmers are also able to contact ISU Extension and Outreach staff if they have any additional questions.”
The Visit Iowa Farms program is administered by the Value Added Agriculture program of ISU Extension and Outreach. The Value Added Agriculture program provides unbiased, science-based information to help establish or expand agricultural-related businesses in Iowa.