Farms are inviting visitors to tour a vineyard, enjoy hayrides, buy their produce, and eat ice cream made from the local dairy’s milk. In Virginia, agritourism is defined as any activity carried out on a farm or ranch that allows members of the general public, for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, to view or enjoy rural activities, including farming, wineries, ranching, historical, cultural, harvest-your-own activities, or natural activities and attractions. For most people, agricultural tourism refers to a visit to a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural, or agribusiness operation in order to enjoy, be educated, or become actively involved in the activities of the farm or operation – getting a true farm experience.

2018 Virginia Agritourism Conference:  Agritourism in Virginia's New Economy

Register now!

Wednesday, March 21, and Thursday, March 22, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge
549 E. Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia
(757) 229-9700

Two days filled with innovative perspectives and critical resources on a variety of agritourism issues!  

  • Day 1
    Understand how farms are launching and improving their agritourism operations, build a fundable business plan, discuss land conservation, identify funding resources, and visit two farms where you will discover agritourism successes and challenges.
  • Day 2
    Improve your farm's customer-service strategies; explore new agritourism ideas related to Virginia's Standards of Learning, child safety, and equestrian activities; and learn from the best on legal, liability, and labor.

• During past conferences, many of you said that the networking opportunities alone were worth your investment of both time and money. The 2018 conference offers multiple occasions for you to engage in conversation with an exceptional cast of experts who understand Virginia agritourism and are well-prepared to share their knowledge.  

To Register:

Review the program and register online:

  • You may register for one day ($105) or both days ($135).
  • Registration fee includes meals as listed on the program.
  • Conference registration deadline is Friday, March 2, 2018. (no refunds after this date).
  • Conference lodging is available at the Great Wolf Lodge. Ask for the conference rate.

Sponsored by

  • USDA Rural Development
  • Virginia Agribusiness Council
  • Virginia Association of Counties
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Virginia FAIRS
  • Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Virginia Farm Bureau
  • Virginia State University
  • Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach Program
  • Virginia Tech
  • Virginia Tourism Corporation

For more information, contact Dr. Martha A. Walker, Virginia Cooperative Extension, by phone at 434-766-6761 or by e-mail at

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Martha A. Walker, Central District Office, at 434-766-6761 during business hours (8 a.m.– 5 p.m.) to discuss accommodations at least five days prior to the event.
* TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

Agritourism is recreation at its finest! Visitors to local farms might tour a vineyard, explore winemaking, or discuss the process of transforming grapes into high quality Virginia wines. Younger guests (as well as many adults) may discover that goats are not dogs with horns, donkeys are different than horses, and milk does not actually originate in a plastic container in the grocery store. The tour of farm fields has enabled many people to realize that peanuts grow underground and cotton grows on a plant and not in a bale. People are hunting in the deer-filled forests and fishing in well-stocked ponds. Pumpkins, apples, cherries, and other produce are being picked. Corn mazes are being navigated. Hayrides, animal barnyard visits, and ice cream treats made from the local dairy’s milk are being added to the top of the “fun-to-do” list of many Virginians.