To explore the interest in developing an Alabama Agri-Tourism Association, several agencies are partnering to hold a series of five meetings March 2-9 in various areas of the state. The partnering agencies include the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama Farmers Market Authority, Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Farmers Federation. The meetings are set for the following dates and locations:
- March 2 10 a.m. Morgan County Extension Office in Hartselle
- March 2 3:00 p.m. Young & Vann Building in Birmingham
- March 3 10 a.m. Alabama Farmers Coop in Selma
- March 4 10 a.m. Holiday Inn Express in Fairhope
- March 9 10 a.m. Landmark Park in Dothan
Developing a state agri-tourism association has benefits says Tom Chesnutt, a tourism specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “It would enhance the agri-tourism industry in Alabama; serve as an industry networking group; allow industry members input into Alabama’s Agri-Tourism Trail program; provide additional marketing opportunities; make possible the development of a state highway signage program and an accreditation program,” Chesnutt says.
The agri-tourism experience could involve farm tours and stays, roadside stands and markets, U-pick operations, on-farm sales, festivals and fairs, guided crop tours, petting zoos, hay rides, habitat improvement projects, bird watching and wildlife viewing, hunting dog training and competition, trap and skeet shooting, fee fishing and hunting, barn dances, corn and hay mazes, garden and nursery tours, historical agricultural exhibits, exotic animal farms and other activities. For additional information contact Tom Chesnutt at firstname.lastname@example.org