Do you dream of having a destination small farm where children explore corn mazes, groups of friends gather to eat wood-fired pizza and drink cider from your own apple trees, or families come to spend a weekend to experience life in the country?

Join University of Minnesota Extension on Sept. 23 from 1-5 p.m. at Sapsucker Farms in Mora to learn best practices for hosting the public on your farm.

The US Census of Agriculture shows an increasing trend in Agritourism and related recreational services. Agritourism income grew by 67% from 2007 to 2017. The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed 28,575 farms offered Agritourism resulting in $949 million in sales.

Lots of planning and research needs to happen before you can realize your dream of hosting farm stays or running a U-Pick operation. From market research to zoning laws, you must consider food safety, business planning and accessing the right property before you invest capital and time and potentially change your family’s life for years to come.

Learn from experts about the key hurdles and challenges that must be addressed. A panel of farmers and farm business owners who host the public will answer your questions.

You will also have the chance to speak with service providers, lenders and others who can assist you on your journey. You will also tour Sapsucker Farms Cidery and explore their trails and sample their CSA and learn about their successful adventure in Agritourism.

Some topics that will be addressed are: goal setting -market research; capital requirements; lending options; licensing, zoning, liability, food safety, animal/human safety; and growing the business and sustaining it.

Space is limited. Register by Aug. 31 for $25. Price increases to $30 thereafter. For more information and to register online: z.umn.edu/Agritourism2021. Contact Rod Greder at 320-591-1662 or gred0014@umn.edu with questions.

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