Tourism on farms booming in SC

Tourism on farms booming in SC

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF ) - Two of the state's top industries are being combined as one to help local farmers bring in more revenue, which in return goes back into fueling the local economy.

“It's amazing that today's consumer wants an on-farm experience,” said Martin Eubanks with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Eubanks said there has been an influx, recently, among everyday people to experience farm life.

 "A lot of folks in agriculture -- we spend every day on the farm, but now consumers want to be able to get out and experience it with their children and their grandchildren," Eubanks said.

Farmers from across the area are in the class to learn how to cash in and increase tourism revenue on their farms, through seasonal and year-round events.

Events like pumpkin and strawberry-picking, horseback riding and tractor rides are what the state says is causing more and more people to seek out farm experiences.

Folks in the class were encouraged to open up their farms to include educational activities, shopping stands and possibly even hosting festivals.

The state says the new interest has been peaked among consumers because of aggressive advertising throughout the state.

"We developed marketing programs, encouraging people to seek South Carolina products. This is an opportunity not only to seek that product but to seek that event, to seek that on-farm experience," Eubanks said.

In turn, the state said agritourism will result in more revenue for farmers and the local economy.

"This is just another opportunity to give the consumer an identification with [agribusiness] is our state's largest industry. It gives them the opportunity to experience what farmers experience every day," Eubanks said.

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