West Virginia agriculture is playing an expanding role in combining on-farm experiences with visitor interactions leading to longer stays in the state and providing agriculture operations additional revenue opportunities.

The state’s efforts are two-fold-train and assist operators with the tools needed to successfully launch and deliver a quality visitor experience and promote the addition of agritourism attractions to the economic impact of the state’s 3rd largest industry.

Churning Butter at the Fair

The West Virginia Agritourism Initiative incorporates the goals for cluster tourism laid out in the 2019 Agriculture State Plan and WVDA’s interest in highlighting and developing this opportunity area. A six-week Agritourism Initiative course has been developed by West Virginia University Extension (on-line, in-person and mixed delivery options are available). Visit the program website for upcoming course information.

For operators, the 2018 finalization of the West Virginia Agritourism Limited Liability Act combined with the existing West Virginia Equestrian Responsibility Act provide some risk management tools and best practices for industry success. Work with the West Virginia Tourism Office, West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau Association, West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association as well as a strong partnership with the West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals (WVAFF) provide existing operators and new/beginning enterprises a wealth of experience and resources.

A list of upcoming agriculture fairs and events can be found at the WVAFF event site or by visiting the searchable tourism calendar of events on the WV Tourism Office website. Animal transportation regulations for expositions can be found on the Animal Health page of the WVDA website.

For additional information on West Virginia Agritourism, email agritourism@wvda.us.

Links

Agriculture State Plan
Agritourism Initiative Course
West Virginia Tourism Office
West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau Association
West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals
WVDA Business Development Division Flyer