Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship The Northern New Mexico Agritourism Corridor: Results and Report of Survey Activities January 2013 Contact: Alice@culturalentrepreneur.org
THE NORTHERN NM AGRITOURISM INITIATIVE The Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, the MRCOGThe Partnership AgCollaborative, Bernalillo County, USDA, and RDC/REDI have partnered to build a core group of agritourism sites that will attract people to north and central New Mexico. The partnership aims to build economic opportunities that align with our cultural values, support local food production, and increase revenue opportunities for farmers. The initiative is providing support to local food and farm enterprises in six counties: Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Taos. The project includes three phases: 1.) Product development (2012 and 2013) 8/ <1$1 #59:; =#> 2.) Marketing (2013 and 2014) (:9// 31"; 1";- 3.) Innovation and expansion. .%/01&"2 (3456)*+7- This report provides a summary of the !""#$%&#" ()*+,- work and activities undertaken toward product development. Specifically, the results and analysis of recently completed outreach, and an extensive questionnaire. According to national agritourism expert Jane Eckert, “Agritourism is the crossroads of tourism and agriculture: when the public visits working farms, ranches or wineries to buy products, enjoy entertainment, participate in activities, shop in a country store, eat a meal or make overnight stays."
THE AGRITOURISM MARKET The most recent USDA Census (2007) USDA Census reports 23,350 farms offering agritourism “Travelers are very and outdoor activities, totaling $566 million willing to pay for a in annual revenues for farms. This number is unique ‘farm to fork’ expected to grow as the heritage and culture type experience.” tourism market expands. The heritage and cultural traveler spends more and travels for more days when on vacation. On average, heritage and cultural travelers spend 30% more and travel 5 days instead of 3 while on travel. Combining these data with the increase in travel by car suggests that agritourism will continue to prove a viable strategy for rural and urbane communities determined to maintain their agricultural heritage and outputs.State Support of States vary in their agritourism activities, policies, and levels of support. Agritourism However, states are becoming more organized and more competitive in this emerging market. In several states Departments of Agriculture and Tourism are collaborating to provide funding and policy support to agritourism operators. Colorado passed C.R.S. 38-13-116.7 in 2011, allocating $300,000 annually to support agritourism endeavors; Oklahoma has enacted legislation approving an Agritourism Revolving Fund. States are passing legislation that defines agritourism operations, limits liability for operators, and improves road signage. Overall 26 states have passed agritourism legislation that will strengthen their competitiveness in the marketplace. Percent of Farms in Area with Income from Agritourism
SURVEY & QUESTIONNAIRE To gain an in-depth understanding of the needs of growers and marketOutreach and venues we conducted outreach, an online questionnaire, and online Farm Visits research into current national agritourism trends and data. GCCE visited over 40 farm and/or market sites (see Appendices for complete list of Sites Visited). Additionally, GCCE participated in AgCollaborative meetings, met with regional and local policy and tourism leaders, and hosted a Centinela Arts “FAM” tour. FAM Tour in Abiquiu The FAM (familiarization)Tour FAM Tour engaged local tourism and policy leaders in a realistic agritourism tour. The day-long trip was hosted by Santa Fe Walkabouts and included 9 participants. Four sites were visited: Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, The Feasting Place, Centinela Traditional Arts, and Estrella del Norte Vineyard. After the FAM Tour was completed and a majority of farm/agritourism sitesQuestionnaire had been visited, and after a thorough review of relevant research, a questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire was developed by GCCE and J. McEntire llc between July and September, 2012. A test version of the questionnaire was distributed in September by e-mail to ten persons representing producers, markets, and support organizations; eight responded. Feedback from the test respondents led to a few corrections and adjustments to the questionnaire. The final questionnaire was open for responses from October 6 to November 20. The questionnaire was “advertised” through email blasts, announcements at meetings, and at farmers markets and during visits to sites. The questionnaire was made available through the online survey service, SurveyMonkey. Limitations of the questionnaire include that it was only available in English and only online.
RESULTS: INTEREST IN AGRITOURISM41 Questions The questionnaire included 41 questions addressing a wide range of topics including: • Growers’ interest in agritourism as an added revenue stream; • Diversity of experiences (products)currently available in the region; • Readiness of agritourism sites to receive tourists; • Current marketing activities of agritourism ventures; • Existing knowledge about, understanding of agritourism issues; • Existing technical support available for agritourism entrepreneurs; • Gaps in technical assistance and/or skills to support agritourism; • Relevant topics and information for an agritourism training. 160 We received responses from 160 people. Of these respondents:Respondents 63 = “I am a farmer/rancher and/or I produce goods with agricultural products.” 19 = “I work for a market venue, farmers market, restaurant, winery, CSA, Co-op, other.” 78 = “I work with an agency or organization that supports farmers and food businesses, or Im an individual supporter.” Of these Farmer/Rancher/Producer group, 33 currently offer 33 currently offer agritourism activities, while agritourism activities 22 more would like to offer agritourism on on their site. their farm or ranch. Only 9 are not planning on engaging in agritourism. Additionally, there is strong interest in learning more about how to grow agritourism success: Would you be interested in learning more about marketing activities that attract more visitors to your agricultural site or market venue? Yes No Not sure
RESULTS: PRODUCT OFFERINGS 47 Growers, The wide array of experiences for tourists range from outdoor enjoyment to 17 Market community engagement to traditional culture. A sampling includes: Venues • Explore progressive orchard practicesDescribed Their • See radical sustainability and subsistence horticulture“Claim to Fame” • Tour a cattle ranch • Visit American buffalo and Himalayan Yak herds • Volunteer at “farm for food bank” • Purchase heritage poultry, feather crafts • View 500 varieties of iris • Discover 85 historic fig tree types • Walk in sunflower fields • Eat fresh chile at festivals • Join planting parties in the spring • Taste a wide variety of unique fruit • Milk a goat • Grind blue corn • Canning and jam making • Community acequia activities • Rent a casita on a farm • Eat authentic traditional Pueblo food • Feel community cheer at Farmers Markets What types of products do you grow and sell? Vegetables Fruit +*"#$% !!"#$% +&"#$% Flowers or plants +!"#$% Herbs and spices Grains, seeds or legumes Honey, other bee products (*"#$% &"#$% Meats Dairy products (8%) ()"#$% Nuts (6%) Wine or Beer crops (5%)
RESULTS: PRODUCT OFFERINGS What types of farm or agricultural experiences do you currently offer? Check all that apply. 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 e l ps nd t es ck s es t s g ng g g or f ia an isi uc ur to nt in in in iti iti ho pi ec sta pi sv e ve to od nt dg ur rid os iv iv U- in m sp ks hu sta le er rm ct ct m pr Lo rw rm Ca k or on ra sa m ac ia g/ ts Re Fa r fa rw fo fo sto ec isi eb ee in n ts e ng Sp ng rv re sh si so cu nt id rs vi ild Ho s Fi pi lu fo pi se A ad ic op op Vo Ch CS n as bl Ro pe Sh Sh Cl Pu O Farmers and growers’ sites vary in their readiness toREADINESS, host visitors. Best practices in agritourism suggestCAPACITY TO that regular opening hours and clear and visibleHOST VISITORS signage are essential for success. Unfortunately, agritourism is a seasonal business, farmers are subject to weather, seasons, and the resulting available experiences (u-pick, garden tours, etc.)How often is Respondents varied in their regularity of openingyour business dates/hours: 53 are open “Varies by month oropen for visitor season”, 23 are open 2-7 days per week, and 23 areactivities? open only for special events.Number of As we strive for market competitiveness, agritourism sites across the regionfarmer/grower will do well to collaborate and organize so we can collectively provide aagritourism diverse and accessible array of products. Additionally, we need to engagesites offering outdoor tour operators more effectively as their hunting, fishing, and birdingthe following: operations compliment the current seasonality of experiences we offer. Wheelchair accessibility Signage on site (Way-finding / parking) Language spoken - other than English External signage directing visitors to your location Picnic tables or resting area with benches Restroom for public use Visitor Parking spaces Drinking water 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
RESULTS: MARKETING ACTIVITIES Growth Currently, the majority of agritourism visitors in the region stem from localesOpportunities within our region. This likely reflects the fact that the majority of farmers/ growers/producers market themselves through local farmers markets. Thus, advertising and marketing campaigns that target visitors from outside the region will likely increase the number of tourists visiting our sites from neighboring states as well as origins beyond the southwest. Advertising in southwest region food and wine publications, development of google and facebook ads, and implementation of a geomapping-based application or website is essential to reach beyond our current market to tourists passionate about food and farms, authentic experiences, and regional cultures. Where do you sell your agricultural products? Check one or more. Farmers Market Local Stores Local Restaurants or Pubs Wholesale Online - my own website Farm stand / Onsite Gift Shop Other peoples websites Nursery Local Lodging Wineries Where do you think most of your customers come from? Our local community New Mexico Surrounding states (CO, AZ, TX, UT) USA International
RESULTS: MARKETING ACTIVITIES A noticeable opportunity for our agritourism marketing is the current lack of use of Facebook and Google ads. Only 3% of respondents use these low-cost, highly targeted ad tools. Yet the marketing budgets of sites indicates these tools are likely their best “bang for their buck.” How do most people find out about your business? Facebook Ads Google Ads Newsletters Newspaper Our websiteListings of tourism events, sites, activities Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) Word of mouth 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Approximately how much money do you spend each MONTH marketing your products and services? $250-$750 Over $750 $50-$250Less than $50 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% Approximately how much time do you spend each MONTH marketing your products and services? 31+ hours16-30 hours 6-15 hours 0-5 hours 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0%
RESULTS: GAPS IN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE Taxes and Managing a successful agritourism endeavor requires extensive knowledge Zoning of both the marketing and product side of the business, as well as the mundane aspects related to taxes, regulations, and zoning. Additionally, we have been told in interviews with agritourism operators that zoning challenges have made sales channels such as farmstands illegal in certain counties, and tax codes for retail sales of products or classes (GRT applies) vary as compared to fees for produce sales (no tax). Operators need to be both aware and accountable to these regulations. Additionally, as a collective, we need to stay abreast of these challenging topics --like changes in county zoning laws -- that impede the development of a robust local food and agricultural sector so we can collectively advocate for sensible policies that support our communities and heritage. Human nature being what it is, respondents declared the least knowledge and the least interest in issues related to taxes and zoning. Our trainings will cover these topics despite their relative lack of appeal. In relation to having people visit agritourism sites (farms, farmstands, markets), how knowledgeable are you about the following topics? Taxes on visitor-related activity Sanitation codes Very knowledgeable Permits Knowledgeable Zoning codes A little knowledge Insurance Building codes No knowledge !" #!" $!" %!" &!" !" (!" )!" What types of technical assistance would you be interested in?454035302520 1510 5 0 Marketing and sales Website and social Coaching on Site preparation, Accounting and Zoning / regulatory assistance media planning and developing signage, customer bookkeeping information development agritourism for my readiness assistance site
RESULTS: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE NEEDS How interested are you in receiving the following services from an agritourism support organization? )!" (!" !" Not interested at all &!" Interested %!" Very interested $!" #!" !" Collaborating with Support in reaching Assistance in using Support in improving Assistance in using other farmers, market more customers from technology to reach our branding and technology to venues, and food outside New Mexico more customers sales operations improve our business producers efficiency The below chart shows the relative lack of technical assistance for farmers working to diversify their income streams. This indicates a need for further training and support for agritourism entrepreneurs. While a wide range of support organizations offer assistance to agritourism operators, the key areas that seem to be overlooked are in research, financing ventures, and diversifying income. GCCE will provide agritourism entrepreneurship trainings to address these gaps. What types of services do you provide to support local growers and producers? Networking opportunitiesEvents that feature local food, products, and beverages Media, marketing, or publications Classes or tours that feature local food, products Marketing and technical assistance Policy advocacy and development Preservation of agricultural resources Business development training for growers/producers Youth development for future farmers/producers Research Options to diversify income stream Financing 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
ANALYSIS AND SUMMARY Agritourism is an expanding value-added market for agricultural producers. As New Mexico offers a wide variety of experiences, and as our unique culture and heritage delight visitors, this market is a clear fit for our state. However, several barriers stand between us and our potential success: Barriers • We currently lack sufficient statewide support to increase our competitiveness against other states’ initiatives in this market • Local regulations fail to take into account agritourism needs and opportunities and squash our competitiveness in this market • Our region’s marketing approach is scattered and fails to leverage new, low-cost technologies • Advertising needs to be targeted to culture/heritage travelers in print, online, and through social media • Farmers and producers are not collaborating to collectively build a diverse and seasonality-immune product offering • more diverse products are currently not recognized or engaged in the agritourism community - horseback riding and hunting tour companies as an example • Our support organizations tend to duplicate one another’s efforts • Farmers and producers need to develop a more sophisticated understanding of regulations and taxes that affect their potential success • Our farm and producer sites lack signage. Over the next 12 months GCCE will work to provide training and technical assistance that builds farmer/ producer capacity and knowledge related to the above issues. Toward this ends we will: 1.) Build a Core Mentors Group with outstanding agritourism entrepreneurs providing support and advise to emerging agritourism entrepreneurs; 2.) Offer trainings to farmers/growers/support organizations in Agritourism Entrepreneurship in Albuquerque, Española, and Taos; 3.) Advocate for increased statewide leadership on regulations and policies that affect agritourism, and follow best practices of states across the nation.Survey Team Alice Loy, PhD, and Selena Marroquin, Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship Ann Simon and Tiffany Terry, Mid-Region Council of Governments Bernadette Miera, Bernalillo County Cultural Services Joanne McEntire, J. McEntire LLC Contact: Alice@culturalentrepreneur.org
Appendices Agritourism Sites VisitedFred and Ruby’s Orchard La Chiripada WineryTalpa Gardens Española Farmers MarketLos Poblanos Estrella del Norte VineyardSan Felipe Farmers Market South Valley Growers MarketChimayó Weavers El Bosque Garlic FarmPena Blanca Sunflowers Dixon Studio TourBernalillo Farmers Market Casa Rondeña WineryBlack Mesa Winery Cerro Vista FarmMolland Gardens Romeros OrchardsAbiquiu Studio Tour Purple Adobe Lavender FarmMesilla Valley Corn Maze Montoya OrchardMer Girl Gardens Nob Hill Growers MarketABQ Downtown Market New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage MuseumArmijo Farmers Market Organic Farmers ConferenceBlue Corn Guys Don Quixote Distillery & WineryTaos Arts School The Feasting PlaceLos Lunas Farmers Market Los RanchosSanta Fe Farmers Market Uptown Farmers MarketGutierrez-Hubbell House Matt Romero FarmsVivac Winery New Mexico Acequia AssociationNew Mexico Wine Growers Association Taos Cooking StudioSostenga Gaia GardenCentinela Traditional Arts
List of Organizations Supporting Agritourism in our Region• Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau• Albuquerque Downtown Growers Market• Bountiful Conservation• Central Colorado Foodshed Assoc• Chamber of Commerces• Delicious New Mexico• Edible Santa Fe• El Chante• Farm to Table• Growers Market South Valley Economic Development Center• Hubbell House• Il Piatto restaurant• La Boca/Taberna restaurant• La Montanita Coop• Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau• LGBTQ Resource Center• Los Alamos Farmers markets• Los Poblanos Noticias• Master Gardeners• Mixing Bowl New Mexico• Mid Region Council of Governments (MRCOG)• Native Plant Society• New Mexico Farmers Market Association Pueblo of Pojoaque• New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce• New Mexico State University Ag extension• Open Space Visitors Center• Raza Graduate Student Association• Santa Fe Farmers Market• Shabetas Healing Garden and Healing Center• Sierra Co Farmers Market• SLV Local Foods Coalition• Taos Farmers Market• The Bountiful Alliance• The Mixing Bowl• University of New Mexico Sustainability Program• Village of Los Ranchos