If you're a Michigan farmer, municipal official, agritourism business or other community leader with an interest in rural entrepreneurship and economic development, this groundbreaking event is for you.
The intent is to share information and best practices while cultivating conversation and communication.
"We do a better job at preserving farmland, than preserving farmers."
-Don Coe, Former Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner
Agritourism encompasses entertainment and leisure experiences that contribute
to a healthy lifestyle, strong family values and quality of life. Agritourism also focuses on finding the best route to encourage rural and regional
economic development while preserving the landscape of each location. Agritourism cultivates strong local communities by connecting the tradition and heritage of area’s inhabitants with the best options for economic growth.
Breweries -- Christmas Tree Farms
Cideries -- Corn Mazes
Creameries -- Distilleries
Farm Markets -- Farm Stay
Festivals & Events -- Harvest Dinner
Hayrides -- Living History Farms
Maple Sugaring -- Meaderies
Pumpkin Patches -- Wineries
U-Pick Orchards & Farms
Agritourism is a proven benefit for small farm viability. Agritourism may produce
conflicts between local residents and farm-based enterprises in agricultural districts. Local government can address agritourism opportunities and protection of health, welfare and safety of local residents through balanced local zoning. Agritourism can be a positive revenue tool or intensive and destructive of rural character. These trends are colliding
and threatening the economy
and culture of rural Michigan.
Tourism contributed $3.1 billion to the state in 2022* and agriculture generates nearly $105 billion annually**, yet Michigan farmers are still struggling financially. These two industries both drive revenue and provide jobs for the state, but we must find the right balance between helping farmers thrive and bolstering local economic development, while preserving our rural and agricultural character.
Combining agriculture and tourism on a single farm property provides significant economic opportunity for both the farmer and the local municipality. This collaborative summit aims to plant seeds for future growth
which can create a resilient, sustainable and more viable agritourism industry for generations to come.
*MichiganBusiness.org | “Michigan’s Tourism, Hospitality Industries Underscore Importance of Being Welcoming to All at Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism.”
**Michigan.gov | “Michigan Agriculture Facts and Figures”
Pre-Summit Farm Tour and Welcome Soirée: Tuesday, May 7th
Leaving from Hotel Indigo (Traverse City) at 9:00am and returning at 7:00pm
The pre-summit farm tour includes visits to multiple agritourism operations in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties including Jacobs Farm; Leelanau Cheese (awarded Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards in Spain for their Raclette); 9 Bean Rows Farmstead, Café, Bakery, and CSA; Tandem Ciders’s production facility; and ends at Farm Club for the Welcome Soirée. The tour includes round-trip coach transportation, lunch at 9 Bean Rows, and on-site food and beverage samples. The Farm Club Welcome Soirée features two complimentary drink tickets, appetizers, and networking.
Agritourism Summit: Wednesday, May 8th
9:30am-4:30pm at Hagerty Center, 715 E Front St, Traverse City
The Agritourism Summit Agenda includes:
Complete summit agenda and pre-event information available on the registration page
Early registration ends April 15 for all events
This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your organization and its support and commitment to Michigan farmers and rural communities. Your generous support will help bring educational sessions and allow for critical networking with industry stakeholders.
There are several options for sponsoring the Agritourism Summit:
$500 - Seed Sponsor
$1,000 - Plant Sponsor
$2,500 - Grow Sponsor
$3,500 - Harvest Sponsor
Details regarding sponsorship can be found at the link below