15. Twelve Ways to Earn Income

Agritourism is the fastest growing segment of revenue for small farms in America (according to the USDA). People want to pay for experiences, and are looking for new things to do on the weekend.

Help meet their needs while simultaneously increasing your farm revenue - with Agritourism
This online resource will teach you how.

12 Sources to Make Income in Agritourism

There are so many fantastic ways to make income in agritourism, it can be overwhelming. If you are considering making money off your farm or ranch, you’re in luck. We have done the footwork for you. Here are 12 excellent ways to make income in agritourism:

Admission Fees

Charging for participation in activities and events in considered an admission fee. When you charge money for your visitors upon entrance to your property, you are assured to make money as long as you have guests. You may opt to charge for special activities, tours and events within the property instead of (or in addition to) charging a general admission or in addition to.

While you might refrain from charging to enter a gift shop or eating area while you certainly could tack on a fee to see a more restricted area special section such as a spot that houses animals like alpaca or llamas. Special events are a good reasons to charge admissions fee for such as Christmas at the petting zoo or wool spinning at a sheep farm.

Tour Fee

If you have a special area that visitors can gain access to with a knowledgeable guide, you can charge a fee for it. Even if you provide guests with a guidebook for a self-guided tour, a fee can be justified. When you charge a tour fee, you want to deliver something of interest to them like allowing them to access a restricted around of your property. When such a fee is access and entry is gained, you will want to provide them with a badge, ticket or stamp on their hand.

Suggestions for tour guided (or self-guided tour) fee possibilities are: a behind-the-scenes tour of your fiber animal farm, a guided tractor tour of the fields where the crops are grown or perhaps a look at the hatchery of fish that your lake is stocked from. The price on the tours can vary. While you may charge one price for a motor-coach tour, a cheaper rate could apply for a school bus tour.

Fresh Farm Produce Sale

The possibilities are endless when you are dealing with a farm that produces fruit, vegetables or both. You can set a fee for letting visitors come and pick their own, based on weight or volume. You can also have stands where the produce is sold, individually and in bulk. If your farm is organic, you can certainly rake in the naturalists and can bet that they will frequent your farm for the produce sales if for nothing else. You can even create special incentives to help assure the business of locals.

The popularity of fresh, home-grown produce makes this a fabulous option for those who have produce farms and are wishing to get into agritourism. There are many angles of making even more for your money on producing farms too like a maple farm charging an extra fee during the time of the season where visitors can come and collect their own sap rather than purchasing the pre-made bottles of syrup.

Tasting Fee

A tasting fee is ideal for those running a farm with an edible food or foods or even drinks. If you are a grape farmer and have a winery, why not charge a set fee for so many sips of wine? Or host a class on making goat cheese and charge a fee for those who would like to taste the cheese after or during the class. Likewise, you can feature specialty items, like an exquisite variety of fruit that is available for tasting only by purchasing a ticket for an additional fee. One of the extra perks of having tasting offered is that visitors are more likely to purchase the product they are sampling so make sure to have some available.

Grounds and Facility Rental

Imagine the profit you can make by simply renting out a section of your property or even the entire property. Parties, weddings, anniversaries, corporate events, picnic shelters. Banquets and church or school function activities are among the things your farm can be rented out for. In general, you do not need to do anything. You can charge a deposit to ensure the area is left trash-free and in the same shape it was in when it was leased. You will need to make up a business plan in order to rent your grounds and/or facility. You will also need a plan. Will you include the use of buildings, tables, chairs, farm tours or access to a fishing pond? If so, be sure to charge extra for such.

Don’t forget that you can divide the land and the services so that you can rent more than one location to more than one group. You might have a picnic group during the day and a wedding held in the evening. Doubling or tripling your money is the name of the game.

Showing Fee

A showing fee is an excellent way to bring money into a farm. You can show horses, fiber animals or even small animals like pigs. Host a contest, like pig catching, or have a show of horses. You can also invite other vendors to participate, adding interest to the event. Food vendors, arts and crafts vendors and even food and drink concession stands are perfect for the occasion. Don’t forget that taxable items must have a tax certificate.

Lodging on the Farm

Do you have a property that could accommodate guests to stay overnight? If so, you are very fortunate. You can set up a bed and breakfast where visitors can spend the night and be served breakfast, offer camping or recreational vehicle spots or even builds some cabins to be rented out by the night or by the week. If you don’t personally have time to see to the hospitality and upkeep, you can always hire someone else to do it. Don’t forget package deals like: farm tour, lodging and a meal for a certain price.

Classes and Skill-Building Fees

Guests love when you offer educational classes where they can learn a craft or skill. Teaching visitors to spin wool from your fiber animal farm or educating them on the art of making wine are awesome examples. From out-of-town tourists to neighbors and local town residents, you will attract visitors from near and far. They will tend to justify the fee for your classes and teaching of skills because they learn something valuable.

Craft and Souvenir Sales

You can make a nice profit by having your guests pay a fee to be able to make a craft at your farm like learning to spin wool and make a cap or learning to make a grapevine wreath if you have a winery where grapes are grown. You can also make crafts and sell them, or, employ someone to do so. In addition, the sales of souvenirs that relate to your business are a great way to drum up extra cash. You can purchase and resale them or provide your own, like selling interesting artifacts that can be found on your land.

Processed Product Sales

Do you have a maple tree farm? If so, why not sell a variety of maple processed products, like maple syrup, maple candy and even maple cakes? Produce farms provide a Mecca for processed product sales. Use your creativity and the sky will be the limit.

Activity Fee

Does your land have the possibility for a fun activity? You can incorporate a zip line across the property, offer row boating on your lake or have horseback riding for an extra charge. It’s a great idea to have an entrance or admitting fee and then to have an activity or activities that are available for an additional charge. If you have an apple farm, you could charge an admission fee, offer tours and also have an activity fee for those who wish to pick apples.

Food Service

If you have a farm, think of all the fun themes you could offer for food service. You might have a “down on the farm food restaurant” or “downhome breakfast diner”. You could also have slices of watermelons and corn on the cob available at booth stands for customers to purchase. If you have a pond, have a fish fry occasion where visitors can purchase fish dinners. There are endless possibilities when it comes to food services you can offer.

This list of 12 sources to make income in agritourism is just a tip of the bucket when it comes to ways that you can make money from your farm. If you are looking for even more ways, simply get a notepad and brainstorm things of interest in regards to your place, scour the internet for ideas or take a walk around your land and use your creative thoughts to come up with ingenious ideas.