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Illinois seminar offers secrets to a winning agritourism farm
By DEBORAH MOORE
Illinois Correspondent

SYCAMORE, Ill. — Targeting businesses catering to agritourists, the Northern Illinois Tourism Development Office has scheduled a seminar called Keys to Success in Agritourism from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, March 22, at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore.

The tourism development office defines agritourism as “the act of visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation for the purpose of enjoyment, education or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation.”

The morning starts with registration and welcome, followed by the keynote address titled Marketing Keys to Success for Agritourism, or If You Built It, They May Not Come by Ross Ament of Ament Associates.

Ament has a degree in agribusiness, has operated the family grain and livestock farm, and has more than 18 years experience in state, regional, national and international tourism.

He will provide the keys to successful marketing, product mix and partnering to glean the most return on investment in an agritourism operation.

The general session, presented by agricultural attorney Rich Schell, is titled Risk Management: 10 Points to Consider for the Beginning Agricultural Operation. His approach to the concerns of legal and regulatory issues will help agribusiness operations navigate the minefields of liability and insurance.

Two breakout sessions follow. They address website design and offering your home as a bed and breakfast.

The cost for the sessions, workbook and refreshments is $20 per attendee. For more information or to register, contact the Northern Illinois Tourism Development Office, 200 S. State St., Belvidere, IL 61008; call 815-547-3740; or e-mail nitdo@visitnorthernillinois.com

This farm news was published in the February 22, 2006 issue of Farm World.

2/22/2006