CFA study of direct sales and agritourism shows some ups and downs

From FoodTank: “On-farm enterprises that focused their business plans on local communities were labeled community-focused agriculture (CFA). This included farms that sell their produce directly to consumers and generate farm income through agritourism. According to the report, only 6.2 percent of all farms deal in direct sales, and around one percent report income from agritourism (all study figures are based on USDA statistics from 2007, the most recent year available).

Studying CFA influence on a national and county-by-county level, researchers found some surprising results. In New England and Mideast counties, regions with well-developed urban centers in proximity to CFA, direct sales increases were associated with increases in total farm sales, as well as personal income growth. Agritourism, on the other hand, was found to have a negative effect on total farm sales.

In the Southeast, increases in direct sales were associated with overall reductions in total farm sales. However, the reverse was true for the effect of agritourism on total farm sales, which was found to be positive in this region and in the Great Lakes.”

“Linkages Between Community-Focused Agriculture, Farm Sales, and Regional Growth”
Economic Development Quarterly 0891242413506610, first published on October 18, 2013

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