Tulip fest

Agritourism events such as the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival near Woodburn, Ore., are growing in popularity. Oregon State University Extension is asking farmers and others who invite visitors onto their operations to fill out a survey.

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon State University’s Extension Service urges farmers to take a brief agritourism survey to help researchers measure the industry’s nationwide impact, understand what makes a successful agritourism business and develop resources to help farmers.

The survey, which will take less than 15 minutes to complete, is for any ranch, farm, fishery or vineyard operation that has visitors.

“This survey is important because nothing like it has been done before for this industry, especially in Oregon,” said Audrey Comerford, agritourism coordinator for OSU Extension. “I encourage everyone who allows the public onto their farm to fill this out.”

Researchers will use the data to develop workshops, educational materials and other tools to help farms of all sizes succeed, said Comerford.

Agritourism is broadly defined as any agricultural operation that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. According to experts at OSU, agritourism continues to grow across the U.S., with farmstands, tasting rooms and U-pick operations.

“Others host on-farm suppers, farm stays, school field trips, public tours, outdoor recreations and harvest events,” said Mary Stewart, spokeswoman for OSU Extension.

The University of Vermont is leading the study, supported by OSU and other land grant universities. Research is funded through a Critical Agriculture Research and Extension grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

All responses will remain confidential.

The survey will close Jan. 31, and OSU Extension will publish the results.

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