Agritourism Team Awarded for Excellence in Tourism Programming

Hundreds of pumpkins lined up for sale on a farm.

Lisa Chase and members of the Agritourism Multi-State Project Team received the 2021 Excellence in Tourism Programming Award from the National Extension Tourism Network. This award recognizes outstanding tourism program development, impacts, or accomplishments relative to innovative, creative, or scholarly activities.

The national research and outreach team members from the University of Vermont include Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) Professor David Connor, Weiwei Wang from the Center for Rural Studies, Lindsey Quella, CDAE master’s degree graduate, and Chadley Hollas. Other team members hail from universities across the U.S.: University of California at Davis, Oregon State, West Virginia University, Penn State, Clemson, Oklahoma State and the University of Minnesota.

“This team has shown the commitment to their communities and perseverance as they embarked on a three-year project to help us understand how agritourism is impacting farm entrepreneurs and the types of support needed to ensure the long-term success of rural communities, sustainable food systems, and recreation economies,” stated Chadley Hollas in a nomination letter submitted to the award committee.

Hollas also stated that “the goal for the project research is to improve the viability of farms and ranches throughout the U.S., by providing guidance and support for the implementation of best management practices for successful direct sales and agritourism enterprises.”

The objectives include:

  1. Identifying critical factors for success and failure of farms already engaged in direct sales and agritourism as well as farms considering adding new enterprises.
  2. Translating these critical factors into best practices with decision aids and tools that can be readily adopted by farms.
  3. Assisting farms with implementation of best practices that result in improvements in farm viability, including profitability and quality of life indicators.
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