Gateway Agritourism

Agritourism is Growing on local KY farms

Agritourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the agriculture industry.  This growth can be attributed in part to the increasing interest in buying and eating locally grown products.  People are also more interested in healthy food choices including produce grown on our Kentucky farms.

Agritourism is defined 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.”

Farm owners are recognizing that opening their farms and operations to the public has provided an additional revenue source for their business, and this business is growing everyday.  Many tobacco producers in Kentucky have either quit raising tobacco or have greatly reduced the amount of tobacco that they raise.  These producers are looking for ways to make up for that lost tobacco income. Agritourism is one effective way to supplement farm income or in some cases sustain the family farm.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has heavily promoted the brand “Kentucky Proud” and Kentucky’s Roadside Farm Markets have become destinations for customers and visitors to our areas.  These effective marketing campaigns have helped the public to understand the importance of supporting local farms.

A State website has been developed to promote the Kentucky Agritourism industry.  The website: is a website full of information about agritourism options for visitors that, in many cases, are staying closer to home in these economic times.  Visitors to this site can plan day trips or overnight adventures from a huge selection of agritourism attractions throughout Kentucky. The website is also full of information and resources for farm owners interested in learning more about agritourism.  For more information on being included on the State’s website, contact Kentucky Agritourism Director, Whitney Meadows.  Whitney can be reached at 502-564-0303.

Regional Agritourism Organizations have sprung up over the past few years from grants awarded through the Govenor’s Office of Agricultural Policy including the Gateway Regional Agritourism Association, Bluegrass Agritourism Association, Central Kentucky Agritourism Association, River Valley Agritourism Alliance and West Kentucky Agritourism. These organizations provide support to local agritourism businesses as well as educational and networking opportunities.  Joining an organization in your region is a great way to become educated and more involved in this growing tourism opportunity.

Today most people have little to no direct connection to farm life.  Agritourism gives people an opportunity to better understand the skill and hard work that go into producing food.  Many children think that tomatoes come from the local grocery store. Educating school children, incorporating tour groups and hosting civic events are all part of helping to return more of the local consumer dollar directly to our farm families in a fun and recreational way- on our own Kentucky farms.

Tracy Pearce, Director of the Gateway Agritourism Association, can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 859-498-4540. The mailing address is: 126 West Main Street, Mt. Sterling, KY  40353.

Contact us

Please contact us at the following.

  • Address: 126 West Main Street - Mt. Sterling, KY 40353
  • Tel: 1-859-498-4540