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Applied Research

Megan Leffew
Extension Specialist III
University of Tennessee Extension


   Agritourism provides Tennessee farmers opportunities to diversify income and foster rural economic development. In 2003-2004, a study was conducted to obtain a snapshot of the industry. Since that time, the landscape of agritourism has evolved, and an updated view was needed. The objectives of this study were to 1) Provide industry information for individual business planning, local and state policy development and resource allocation; 2) Identify impacts and evaluate effectiveness of existing educational, cost-share, technical assistance and promotion programs and 3) Identify needs for future educational and technical assistance programs. A total of 429 viable contacts received a mail survey in early 2013, and 171 operators responded for an overall response rate of 39.9 percent. The direct estimated economic impact from agritourism was more than $34.4 million for 2012, and the impact with multiplier effects was $54.2 million. This more than doubles the estimated impact from the 2003-2004 study. Among those attending educational programs in the last three years, the average estimate of sales in 2012 influenced by information obtained was a 19.9 percent increase. The most cited problems faced by enterprises, which present opportunities for future educational programs, included deciding how to promote, developing advertising, obtaining capital, identifying target customers, record-keeping and analysis and finding employees. A policy consideration was identified as more than 12 percent of operations had less than 15 acres, likely omitting them from the protection offered by a state agritourism liability law. Complete results of the study are available at


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: M.L. Bruch, K. Jensen, J. Menard, B. English
  1. Bruch, M. Extension Specialist II, University of Tennessee Extension, Tennessee, 37174
  2. Jensen, K. Professor, University of Tennessee, Tennessee, 37996
  3. Menard, J. Research Associate, University of Tennessee, Tennessee, 37996
  4. English, B. Professor, University of Tennessee, Tennessee, 37996