NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: Spring Agritourism in North Carolina

The spring agritourism season is getting under way now with a variety of activities planned at farms across the state. There’s no shortage of fun-on-the farm activities – pick-your own flowers and strawberries, farm-fresh foods and country stores, yoga with goats or llamas, wine tastings, special dinners, fishing and more. You can find more local activities listed on gottobenc.com by searching under the agritourism link or going to the VisitNCFarms app.

  • The recent warm weather is a great signal for spring, as are the daffodils and forsythia blooms showing off right now. Spring is one of my favorite times of year because the Earth comes alive and works begins on a new agricultural year.
  • I also like spring because I look forward to strawberry season, and I know I am not the only one.
  • Many farms across the state are welcoming or preparing to welcome visitors as spring activities and events are under way or planned.
  • I have heard reports that some agritourism operations had good years in 2020 as people looked for activities outdoors where they could socially distance. Pick-your-own locations, country stores, outdoor yoga with animals, hay-rides, wine tastings, workshops, weekend getaways and pond fishing are just a few of the activities being offered at farms across the state.
  • Anyone looking for fun-on-the-farm activities can search for local farms through the gottobenc.com website, by searching under the Agritourism link. You can also download the VisitNCFarms apps for listings there, too.
  • I am proud to see all the different activities being offered, and how visitors have responded to them. There is really no limit on possibilities when it comes to agritourism.
  • I saw recently where one farm is planning a Mother’s Day tea, several farms give visitors the opportunity to pick-their-own flower bouquets or tulips. I bet my wife would like that. Of course we have lots of u-pick strawberry options in the spring.
  • I have also heard that goat and llama yoga classes have been pretty popular, too. I don’t know that I am flexible enough for that!
  • Special dinners featuring local foods, farm markets and even on-farm AirB&B stays are other popular attractions.
  • One farm near Raleigh is even hosting a drive-thru dinosaur activity, which is creative.
  • Agritourism can be an important revenue stream for farms, but it is also a great way for visitors to learn more about North Carolina’s No. 1 industry – agriculture.
  • Throughout the pandemic, we saw consumers looking for ways to support local businesses, farmers and farmers markets. I think people are searching for a deeper connection to who produces their food and agritourism farms offer a plenty of opportunities to make the connection between the farm and our food.
  • If families are looking for fun, outdoor activities I would encourage you to get outside and enjoy one of North Carolina’s many agritourism farms.