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January conference to focus on agritourism

A conference for entrepreneurs and farmers interested in agritourism will be held Jan. 17-18 at Paris Landing State Park at Buchanan, Tenn.

Called “2008 Agritourism: Cultivating Farm Revenue,” the conference is among efforts sponsored by Tennessee Agritourism Initiative partners to build farm income in the state. Initiative partners include the state’s departments of Agriculture, Tourist Development, and Economic and Community Development; the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation; University of Tennessee Extension; USDA Rural Development; and the Tennessee Agritourism Association.

The Tennessee Agritourism Association will conduct its annual membership and business meeting as part of the conference.

Megan Bruch, Extension marketing specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture and one of the conference planners, says the conference will benefit any entrepreneur participating in or planning an agritourism business.

“The conference will feature several ‘Agritourism in Action’ sessions where participants will hear from experienced entrepreneurs about their operations and about the lessons they have learned about the agritourism business,” Bruch said. “Other sessions will educate participants on incorporating retail into their operations, ideas for activities to educate and entertain on the farm, marketing, signage programs, sales tax issues and more.”

The trade show will host exhibits of products and services of interest to agritourism operators. Participants can also share information about their own enterprises by bringing photographs of their operations or marketing materials to display in a special exhibit at the trade show called “Agritourism in Action: Show Your Stuff.”

“This is the third agritourism conference held in Tennessee,” said Pamela Bartholomew, agritourism coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and another of this year’s conference planners. “Last year, 205 participants attended from 14 states. We want to continue to help agritourism entrepreneurs grow and improve their enterprises.”

Conference information and registration is available on-line at the Center for Profitable Agriculture’s Web site at or on the Pick Tennessee Products Web site at The registration fee is $75 prior to Jan. 5. Late registration is $125.

For more information, contact Megan Bruch at (931) 486-2777 or [email protected].

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