SC Commissioner Weathers: Summer Agritourism

With the school year ending soon, there’s no better time to talk about agritourism with South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.

  • Agritourism is a booming industry in South Carolina.
  • Definition: agriculture-based activities that bring people to farms, ranches or other agricultural settings.
  • Some examples include U-pick operations, corn mazes, farm to table dinners, and on-the-farm restaurants with markets that sell locally made foods.
  • During COVID, many South Carolinians searching for outdoor opportunities discovered agritourism.
  • Experiences and technologies that farmers put in places during COVID are continuing to be successful: online payments, drive-through tours, roadside produce stands, drive-in movies.
  • Carolina Pride Pastures, an alpaca farm, began doing virtual field trips for schoolchildren during COVID, in part with the help of funding and business mentoring from SCDA’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE). Very successful now.
  • Great U-pick strawberry season is drawing to a close; blueberries going strong.
  • One exciting new program in SC agritourism: SC Farm Hikes. These are farms that have hiking trails and are listed in our new directory online.
  • Lots of summer opportunities for activities with the kids. Some farms also offer summer camps.
  • To search for farms and activities, including farm hikes, visit SCFarmFun.org.
  • We encourage farms to join the South Carolina Agritourism Association to learn how to create or expand agritourism offerings.