Chapter in In Outdoor Recreation for 21st Century America, edited by Ken Cordell, Venture Press, State College, PA, 289 pp, 2004
18 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 22, 2004
In this chapter we took a broad look at American participation in on-farm recreation. While further analysis is in order, it does seem that visiting farms, either as a primary purpose of a trip or as part of a rural sightseeing outing, is a popular activity. We estimate that over 60 million Americans (over 30% of the population) made one or more recreational visits to farms during the past year. While many of these visits were to family and friends, a majority were not. People valued a number of different attributes of their farm trips. Purchasing agricultural products and picking fruit and vegetables was important, but enjoying the rural scenery around the farm, and learning where our food comes from, was more important. Interestingly, petting farm animals was the most frequent on-farm activity mentioned. In general, en-route to a farm people would like to see more woodlands and grazing animals, about the same amount of farmland, and less “development”. When broken down across regions, and along socioeconomic lines, the data do not reveal any striking patterns. Although there are a few noticeable differences (for example, hunting was more important in the Northern Great Plains then in the Northern Crescent), the overall impression is that visiting farms is an activity that is enjoyed by people all across America.
Keywords: agro tourism, farm recreation, NSRE
JEL Classification: Q19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation