What is agritourism? Discover all your agritourism questions with our latest handbook. Click here to read the current handbook.
Click here to download your Kentucky Agritourism limited liability warning sign at-cost form. Download the form here.
Agritourism is a growing industry in the United States and presents a number of opportunities for Kentucky farmers. The links on this page provide various resources available to farmers and others interested in the industry.
What is agritourism? Discover all your agritourism questions with our latest handbook.
Kentucky Agritourism limited liability warning sign at-cost form.
Division on Traffic Operations, 200 Mero Street, Frankfort
Contact: Tim Tharpe
Click here to read the current handbook.
Kentucky Farm Bureau certifies and provides promotion for roadside farm markets in Kentucky which meet established standards for the program. The program allows the market operators to obtain statewide advertising as a way to expand their market areas and increase sales. Click here to read the current handbook.
KCARD is a non-profit 501(c)-3 organization established to facilitate agricultural and rural business development in Kentucky. KCARD provides educational opportunities, technical assistance, and business support services to new and existing agribusinesses. Click here to read the current handbook.
Kentucky MarketMaker is an interactive mapping system that locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in Kentucky, providing an important link between producers and consumers. Click here to read the current handbook.
The Small Business Development Centers in Kentucky provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDCs offer one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of information and guidance in central and easily accessible branch locations. Click here to read the current handbook.
There are two basic reasons for preparing a business plan. First, it requires the entrepreneur to investigate thoroughly the factors that will have a bearing on the success of the business. Second, it will enhance the ability of the entrepreneur to secure financing by providing an organized overview of the venture for lenders and investors. It also provides insight into the entrepreneur's ability to define and develop strategies for critical area of the business.
Agritourism is defined as “The act of visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural, or agribusiness operations for the purpose of enjoyment, education or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation.”
Agritourism gives Kentucky farmers an opportunity to generate additional income and an avenue for direct marketing to consumers while providing educational opportunities to the public and helps to keep the family farm for the next generation.
Simply stated, Agritourism could be thought of as the crossroads of tourism and agriculture. Agritourism presents a unique opportunity to combine aspects of the tourism and agriculture industries to provide a number of financial, educational, and social benefits to tourists, producers, and communities.
Today many Kentuckians have no direct connection to farm life, even in rural areas. Agritourism gives people an opportunity to better understand the skill and hard work that go into producing the food and fiber we all enjoy.
Busy schedules and travel cost can limit the number of big weekend getaways a family can take. A visit to the farm is most often a day trip and can provide a fun experience for the whole family.
Kentucky's dynamic agritourism industry provides activities and 'on-farm' experiences for visitors throughout the year. From enjoying fresh berries at a market in the spring, to a hay ride through the pumpkin patch in the fall, there is always an exciting experience around the corner at one of Kentucky's many Agritourism sites.
Kentucky is a state so enriched with interesting history and heritage, music and arts, sports and outdoors, there always seems to be a fun festival celebrating a Kentucky something or somebody.
Sharon G. Spencer
Division Director, Direct Farm Marketing
Kentucky Department of Agriculture
111 Corporate Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Direct Line: 502-782-4127
Most Kentuckians are two, three, or more generations removed from agriculture. Many Kentucky farm destinations offer activities and exhibits that enable the whole family to reconnect with the source of their food and fiber. Kids can get their hands dirty in a garden, ride a pony, see livestock up close, and enjoy the sights and sounds (and smells!) of a working farm in a safe, wholesome environment. They will leave thrilled at all they've seen and done while gaining an appreciation for farming that will last a lifetime.
Just before Thanksgiving, most Kentucky Christmas tree farms open for folks who appreciate the smell of a fresh, homegrown pine tree to decorate for the holidays. For many families, an outing to the nearest Christmas tree farm marks the official start of the Christmas season. Families like the experience of taking the kids out to find and cut their own tree. Others prefer to let somebody else do the cutting and purchase their tree from one of the 90 Kentucky Proud businesses in the Commonwealth that sell Christmas trees.
Kentucky's world-famous distilleries provide visitors the opportunity to visit and see how our unparalleled spirits are made. Take a tour and follow the process step by step. Take a deep breath in the warehouse and steal just a hint of the "angel's share." Take a bottle of "liquid gold" home with you — but, please, enjoy it responsibly! You also can find Kentucky Proud breweries that make unique, hand-crafted beers — including some aged in used bourbon barrels for a one-of-a-kind taste that's the best of both worlds.
Most Kentuckians have no direct connection to farm life, even in rural areas. Farm attractions help people to understand the skill and hard work that go into producing the food and fiber we all depend upon. It's also a chance to enjoy great Kentucky Proud food and clean, affordable country fun at destinations that are close to home. Farm attractions enable farmers to earn supplemental income that can help preserve and sustain their family farms. Attractions "add value" to existing crops, livestock, and the natural resources that farms have to offer.
Visit a Kentucky farmers' market, where local farm families offer wholesome produce in a country-carnival atmosphere. Meet the people who produced the food you'll serve to your family. Feel the pride and care in the hands that made the food and now pass it on to you. Look for that little "something extra" for your home — cut flowers, maybe, or homemade soaps and lotions, or arts and crafts. Enjoy live entertainment from local musicians. You'll go away feeling happy, healthy, and connected to your local food culture.
On a Kentucky Farm Stay, you feel the rhythms of the food-growing experience. You might be guests in an active farmhouse. Your hosts might have converted a building into rooms of luxury quality, or they might offer a bracing outdoor camping experience. You might even get to lend a hand with the chores or see them demonstrated — either way, a priceless education. Some destinations offer classes in farm crafts such as cheese-making, gardening, spinning, and cooking. These farms offer guests the unique experience of learning what the farm means to the families of America.
Famous for the Kentucky Horse Parks and farms and scenic drives past beautiful pasture land, the Kentucky Bluegrass Region is truly a horse-lover's paradise. And, for those in the know, it's so much more.
Lexington, Kentucky's second-largest city and the Horse Capital of the World, offers a vibrant mix of historic sites, shopping, attractions, dining and nightlife. Visit the State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, the Railroad Museum and the world renowned Kentucky Horse Park where you can pet champion thoroughbreds. Lincoln's Lexington Walking Tour encompasses 18 historic sites in this beautiful city.
Explore the Capitol Grounds and the Kentucky History Center in the Kentucky capital city of Frankfort; tour Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, America's largest restored Shaker community; enjoy exceptional thoroughbred racing in Keeneland and spend an evening at Kentucky's oldest outdoor dinner theatre, the lively Pioneer Playhouse in Danville. Play outdoors, visit pioneer, Civil War and living history exhibits, take the Woodland Reserve Distillery Tour and enjoy your vacation in the beautiful Kentucky Bluegrass Region.
Home to the famed National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green is a friendly, fun city located less than one hour north of Nashville. Visit Lost River Cave and Valley, home to Kentucky's only underground boat tour or take a ride on the Kentucky Rumbler, the most twisted wooden roller coaster in seven states. Shop and enjoy eclectic dining choices in Bowling Green's historic downtown square.
Take guided or a wild cave explorations in the underground world of Kentucky's Cave Country. Marvel at one of the most spectacular and vast adventures in Kentucky - Mammoth Cave National Park, the world's longest cave system and tour the Crystal Onyx Cave where pre-historic finds have made it an important archeological site. With six beautiful lakes including the Barren River State Resort Park, you can enjoy water sports, rentals, lodging and vacation amenities that fit all ages and interests from world-class fishing enthusiasts to families and resort-style vacationers. With some of the greatest attractions in Kentucky – Mammoth Cave National Park, theme parks, and the National Corvette Museum – Bowling Green, Cave Country and all the rest of the Caves, Lakes and Corvettes region is a can't-miss stop in the Bluegrass State.
With the breathtaking beauty of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky as a backdrop, you'll find grand adventure and a friendly welcome always waiting for you in the Kentucky Appalachian region. Enjoy your stay or drop by for the day at one of our scenic mountain and mountain/lake state parks including Carter Caves State Resort Park. Fish, boat, hike, take an RV ride or follow some of the finest horse trails in Kentucky. Tour a cave or enjoy world-class golf on one of the remarkably scenic mountain courses at Carter Caves State Resort Park.
Appalachian arts, history, crafts, music and culture are celebrated and honored in our festivals, museums, arts centers and historic sites including the Highland Museum and Discovery Center, national Kentucky Folk Arts Center, Coal Miners Museum, Mountain HomePlace, an actual Civil war era working farm as it was from 1850-1875. Enjoy live performances at the historic Paramount Arts Center. Explore the Appalachian region's contribution to the music of America at the US 23 Country Music Highway museum, enjoy our local cuisine and shop for unique gifts and Appalachian arts from local Kentucky artists. For a memory-making, affordable vacation in the heart of the U.S.A, make plans to visit the friendly and welcoming Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.
The drama of nature's untamed splendor offers adventure and excitement in Kentucky's Daniel Boone Country. Whether your brand of fun is high impact adventure or a relaxed retreat, we can show you how to make the most of your visit in Kentucky's grand outdoors.
Learn the ropes on rock climbing walls or take a "real deal" rock climbing course at Torrent Falls. Wheel your way along the ATV trails of the Black Mountain Off-road Adventure Park or enjoy a relaxed scenic drive along mountain by-ways. The Cumberland Gap, the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge are awe-inspiring works of nature.
Camp out or explore our scenic region from the comfort of your cabin, lodge or motel room. With five beautiful scenic and historic parks such as Cumberland Falls State Park, Kentucky Daniel Boone Country offers recreational fun and a variety of affordable lodging, shopping and dining options.
Home to world-famous Kentucky barbecue and music legends, Bill Monroe, the Everly Brothers and W.C. Handy, the Bluegrass, Blues & Barbecue region of Kentucky invites you to travel the roads of tradition. Visit Bill Monroe's birthplace and learn more about him at the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Enjoy music festivals, Civil War re-enactments, Ellis Park Racetrack, Broadway shows, outdoor adventure and more.
Owensboro, Kentucky's Festival City, is home to the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Take a ghost tour or hop on the River City Trolley to visit historic downtown and other major shopping destinations. Home to John J. Audubon, the world's greatest naturalist, Henderson offers music, art, history and adventure, year-round festivals and a historic downtown area with fun eateries and quaint shops.
You will find unique museums and art galleries throughout the region, as well as, natural wonders such as the Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens, the Dogwood Azalea Trail, two Wildlife Management Areas, and the John James Audubon State Park. Visit working nurseries, orchards, and farms and get a taste of Kentucky.
Built on the falls of the Ohio River, Louisville offers all the action of a big city with the charm and friendliness of a small town. Louisville is the location of the Kentucky Derby and world-class museums such as the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Muhammad Ali Center. Enjoy the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the Louisville Zoo. Follow Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail, shop at a Louisville flea market, take a river cruise and play in the city's two entertainment districts featuring restaurants, clubs and live entertainment.
Want to explore a great president's life, legacy and birthplace? Abraham Lincoln was born in this region of Kentucky; learn more about the life and legend of Abraham Lincoln at sites along Kentucky's Lincoln Heritage Trail.
Tour world-famous bourbon distilleries in Kentucky on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, enjoy live theater or take a ghost trek walking tour in Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World. Discover the bounty of Kentucky at Bray Orchards; shop for antiques and crafts in historic Elizabethtown or enjoy unique shopping, restaurants and golf in Shelbyville, the American Saddlebred Capital of the World. Make plans to explore the location of the Kentucky Derby and the region's extensive history and bourbon attractions.
One of the state's most popular sporting and family vacation destinations with over 1200 miles of shoreline, it's hard to pass up Lake Cumberland - cabins, record-breaking fishing, water adventures and breath-taking scenery are all in one place. Lake Cumberland boat rentals are available for the most fun on the water.
Discover the heritage and history of the counties bordering the lake at the Mill Springs Civil War Battlefield, the National Cemetery and Mill Springs Park, home of the world's largest working water-wheel. In all of the region's lakes and rivers, from Big South Fork National River to Lake Cumberland, boat rentals, fishing, boating, and outfitters are among the best in the state.
Check out scenic Daniel Boone National Forest camping and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation area and take a scenic railway trip deep into the heart of what was coal country. Enjoy restaurants, galleries, museums, theater productions, concerts, annual festivals, car and boat shows, and the works of local artisans and craftsmen in our inviting small towns throughout the region.
Get revved up to take in Northern Kentucky's fastest attraction, Kentucky Speedway, where cars race on the state of the art track that seats 106,000 and allows campers and RV's a front row seat. For music lovers, see the hottest country stars live at the Country Stampede or listen to bluegrass music at a live entertainment venue.
The river front cities of Covington and Newport show off the quaint MainStrasse Village as well as the mega-entertainment complex of Newport on the Levee, offering numerous nightclubs, riverside dining, shopping and cinemas along with the world-renown Newport Aquarium.
If you are fascinated by the history of the Underground Railroad, then Augusta is the place to visit, featuring numerous historic homes that are part of Kentucky black history for taking part in assisting slaves across the river to freedom. There's a lot to love about the Northern River region of Kentucky. Newport Aquarium will help you rediscover your sense of wonder, MainStrasse Village is a pleasant place to stop for low-key dining and shopping and the Kentucky Speedway always promises a roaring good time. Come find out what you're missing!
Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley and the Land Between the Lakes is a popular vacation destination with all the water recreation imaginable - fish, ski, sail, tube, kayak, jet ski, drag race, swim and relax. Enjoy outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, horseback riding and ATVing on off-road vehicle trails.
Dine in restaurants overlooking the lakes, enjoy live entertainment at Grand Rivers Badgett Playhouse, take in a movie at an old fashioned drive-in, shop at the largest single antique mall between Saint Louis and Nashville, visit art museums and play with us at one of our award-winning festivals.
Our friendly communities and historic hamlets provide visitors with surprising opportunities for entertainment, activity and inspiration. Play golf in the #1 retirement destination in the US, visit Kentucky's largest Amish community, shop in a railroad town transformed into an antique shoppers heaven, travel through lush farmland rich in Native American history, or visit a "living house" museum. Take a walking tour of Paducah's historic downtown to discover quality museums like the National Quilt Museum and the River Discovery Center. Enjoy an inviting mix of unique restaurants and shops and visit with working artisans in their LowerTown Paducah studios.