A Few Other North Carolina Agricultural Tourism Projects
Perspectives On Line: The Magazine of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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"A Few Other N.C. Agricultural Tourism Projects"---By Art Latham.


Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga counties: Richard Boylan, an Extension alternative crops specialist said the Alternative Agriculture Program of the New River Headwaters highlights each farm’s unique attributes to help clients tap this potential source of profit. “Once farmers find their agritourism niche,” he said, “they’ll be eligible to be featured in the ‘HandMade Holiday’ package weekends and tours.”

Madison County: A $75,000 Golden LEAF-funded project and other grants help increase market opportunities for farmers diversifying operations through alternative crop production and value-added enterprises and provides business planning, marketing and management training.
The grants helped develop a Web site, www.madisonfarms.org, “a vital tool for marketing agri-tourism,” said Ross Young, Cooperative Extension director for Madison County.

Various western counties: Sue Counts, Cooperative Extension director for Watauga County, sits on HIA’s 29-member board of directors, as do Marilyn Cole, retired area specialized agent for Buncombe County and Mary Jane Letts, retired Extension director for the Cherokee Reservation and current N.C. Arts Council board member.


Cherokee Reservation:
Rob Hawk, Extension’s sole tourism agent, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation acquired about $200,000 for the Qualla Arts and Crafts Cooperative, to revitalize Cherokee crafts and preserve the natural resources like white oak used in those crafts.
Dr. Jeanine Davis, head of the N.C. Specialty Crops Program, received a $750,000 Golden LEAF grant to help set up bramble crops such as blackberries, pick-your-own vegetables and other alternative crops.
Kathy Kennel, N.C. Agricultural Foundation Inc.’s executive director, helped obtain $198,000 for tobacco farmers and tobacco-dependent communities for crop diversification and agritourism infrastructure such as fences, walkways, bathrooms and signs from the Tobacco Trust Commission.


Surry, Yadkin and other northern counties offer winery tours, which dovetail nicely with bed-and-breakfast farmhouse stays.


Anson, Richmond, Montgomery and Moore counties: Boosted by a $24,000 Golden LEAF grant, representatives visited three successful agritourism enterprises to get a sense of the possibilities. Their Web site, www.sandhillsagriculture.com, lists local farmers markets and stands, special events and scenic area drives.



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