Have you ever driven past a pumpkin patch or family winery and dreamed about starting your own rural business?
If you have, consider joining the Oklahoma Agritourism Program on an upcoming bus tour of some farms that market themselves to tourists. The daylong rolling workshop will be Nov. 8.
The program may be best suited for current farmers and Chamber of Commerce types. Discussions will include nuts and bolts segments on taxes, marketing and insurance costs.
“There's definitely an educational component that would be of most interest to producers,” said Jamie Cummings, program administrator for agritourism. “But anyone who is interested in how these venues work and wants to see them is welcome.”
Agritourism businesses include working farms and ranches that invite the public to visit, “purchase products, learn, have fun, participate in farm activities or just relax,” according to a news release.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department promote the rural businesses to tourists.
The day will begin at 7 a.m. at The Harn Homestead, a historic Oklahoma City farm where children learn about what life was like in pioneer days. Other stops include Frontier Farms, Sugar Moon, Clauren Ridge Vineyards & Winery and Cripple Creek Farms.
“We have a 50-passenger bus booked for this trip,” Cummings said.
“We try to stay right on schedule, although there can be diversions, but we'll be trying to finish about 5 p.m. We usually try to do this on a typical workday schedule, but we're starting a little earlier so we can tour The Harn Homestead.”
Meals and educational materials are included in the $25 registration fee. Seating is limited; reserve a seat no later than Nov. 2.
To register, call Becca Lasich at 488-7532 or Lori Coats at 420-9242.
To learn more about Oklahoma's agriculture-related tourism destinations, including autumn-themed sites offering corn mazes and hay rides, go online to www.OklahomaAgritourism.com.