Perhaps it’s a local farm stand or U-pick. Maybe it’s farm stays, farm tours, on-farm classes, festivals, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, barn dances or even guest weddings. However you define it, agricultural tourism – or agritourism – is growing in popularity.

Basically, agritourism is “a commercial enterprise at a working farm or ranch conducted for the enjoyment and education of visitors, and that generates supplemental income for the owner or operator,” according to the UC Small Farm program, which works with county-based UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors to provide support and resources.

California Summits

Photo by Brian Van de Wetering.

Increasing the success of those interested in agritourism is the goal of four summits scheduled throughout California in Davis, Petaluma, Modesto and Riverside in February and March 2017.

The all-day sessions (lunch included) are tailored for each region, and will cover such topics as county regulations; marketing plans; social media and event organizing; liability issues; and financing ideas.

The classes are:

  • Yolo/Sacramento/Solano: Feb. 13, 2017
  • Sonoma/Marin: Feb. 16, 2017
  • Stanislaus/San Joaquin/Merced: March 23, 2017
  • Riverside/San Bernardino/San Diego: March 29, 2017

Who should attend? The summits are designed for agritourism operators, tourism professionals, city and state officials, community organizations, agricultural groups and others connected to California agricultural tourism.

To register and learn more, visit

Agritourism Resources

Agritourism isn’t new. Walter and Cordelia Knott stand in front of their “original berry stand” at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Photo credit: Orange County Archives.

Can’t attend the summit? You can still access a wide range of agritourism resources from the UC Small Farm program. There are research reports, handbooks, fact sheets, upcoming events, permits and regulations, marketing tips and more.

Don’t miss the California Agricultural Tourism Directory at

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Editor’s Note: UC ANR – the University of California’s division of Agriculture and Natural Resources – is a statewide network of researchers and educators who work on issues critical to agriculture, natural resources and human development.

UC ANR operates program that are well-known to the public, including the California 4-H and Master Gardener programs. ANR has several hundred locally based Cooperative Extension “advisors” working in communities and other campus-based faculty and researchers located at UC campuses, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Riverside and UC Merced. In addition, ANR operates nearly 60 county offices across the state and nine research and extension centers.

To learn more about the history of ANR and its Cooperative Extension Service, read this piece by Rachel Surls and UC Food Observer editor Rose Hayden-Smith.