Thursday, December 8, 2016

Facebook Helps Swedish Group Find McKowen Farm

In a recent post, I shared that Amelia Kent and a group of Swedish youth were touring America. Quite by accident Keller McKowen, husband of Roberta McKowen, met them while they were at the Richland Tractor Equipment store. Keller invited them to the farm and later learned that they had been following their farm's Herding Facebook page and Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association's page.

The McKowen farm is in lambing season so that came to see.
These young  Swedish women are touring the world examining Ag practices because they will take over their family businesses one day. 

Roberta showed them fiber arts, cheese making  and  no till agriculture . 

Swedish Youth Farm Tour

The Swedish Youth Farm Tour made a stop at Roberta McKowen, DVM's Grass Fed Lamb and Beef  Agritourism Operation. They  showcased , Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association, farm management strategies promoting  wildlife and sustainable soil; and diversified income streams  through agritourism.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Attorney will Speak at Upcoming Workshops on Liability Issues

Attorney Rusty Rumley with the National Agricultural Law Center will be the featured speaker at two upcoming workshops on agritourism.  Call today to reserve your spot; see details below:

November 8, 2016
9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station
1373 Caffey Road, Rayne, Louisiana

November 10, 2016
9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station
262 Research Station Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana

Plan to arrive about 8:45 a.m. local time. Presentations will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end by 3:00 p.m. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Registration is required. Pre-registration ends November 3, 2016 and is needed for meal accommodations. The registration fee is $15 per person. When you register, please indicate the workshop you are interested in and make checks payable to “LSU AgCenter” with your name, address, email address, and phone number to Dr. Maria Bampasidou, LSU Campus, 234 Martin Woodin Hall, Baton Rouge, La. 70803.


Dora Ann Hatch
318-927-9654 x229
Dr. Maria Bampasidou
An agenda, general information on agritourism,
and associated material are available at

Friday, October 28, 2016

Growers learn ways to profit from pumpkin patches

Vegetable growers looking to grow pumpkins for fun or profit learned strategies to select varieties and increase yields at a recent workshop at the LSU AgCenter Northeast Research Station.

Taking an agritourism approach is one way to enhance profits on the farm, Kiki Fontenot, LSU AgCenter specialist, said at the Oct. 18 event. Farmers can earn more per pumpkin by operating a corn-type maze and pumpkin patch to attract families and school groups, she said.

Louisiana’s harsh climate with heat, humidity and insects produces challenges for pumpkin growers, Fontenot said. She recommended three varieties from the first-year trials for pumpkin growers in the northern part of the state.  For complete article, click here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Marketing Strategies for Agritourism

HOLLY GEORGE, UC Cooperative Extension, has written an excellent paper on marketing agritourism, click here to read more. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Agritourism Financial and Legal Liabilities Workshop

The workshops will be offered in two locations:

November 8, 2016
9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station
1373 Caffey Road, Rayne, Louisiana

November 10, 2016
9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station
262 Research Station Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana

Plan to arrive about 8:45 a.m. local time. Presentations will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end by 3:00 p.m. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Registration is required. Pre-registration ends November 3, 2016 and is needed for meal accommodations. The registration fee is $15 per person. When you register, please indicate the workshop you are interested in and make checks payable to “LSU AgCenter” with your name, address, email address, and phone number to Dr. Maria Bampasidou, LSU Campus, 234 Martin Woodin Hall, Baton Rouge, La. 70803.


Dora Ann Hatch
318-927-9654 x229
Dr. Maria Bampasidou
An agenda, general information on agritourism,
and associated material are available at

Agritourism Financial and Legal Liabilities Workshops

The workshops will be offered in two locations:

November 8, 2016
9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station
1373 Caffey Road, Rayne, Louisiana

November 10, 2016
9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station
262 Research Station Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana

Plan to arrive about 8:45 a.m. local time. Presentations will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end by 3:00 p.m. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Registration is required. Pre-registration ends November 3, 2016 and is needed for meal accommodations. The registration fee is $15 per person. When you register, please indicate the workshop you are interested in and make checks payable to “LSU AgCenter” with your name, address, email address, and phone number to Dr. Maria Bampasidou, LSU Campus, 234 Martin Woodin Hall, Baton Rouge, La. 70803.


Dora Ann Hatch
318-927-9654 x229
Dr. Maria Bampasidou
An agenda, general information on agritourism,
and associated material are available at

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Master Horseman clinic to feature renowned trainer

 Renowned horse trainer Jack Brainard to appear at the LSU AgCenter Master Horseman Clinic,  Oct. 10-11 at the Sugarena in New Iberia.

The clinic is full for participants with horses but equine enthusiasts can audit the class for $10 per day. The event will be held 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days, and a lunch will be available.
For more information, contact Howard J. Cormier at 337-296-6819.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

WesMar Farms Changing Focus

WesMar Farms, a leader in the  Louisiana agritourism industry, with their goat farm, pasteurized milk and many products will soon change their focus. Flooding has caused the Constantine's to create a new business plan. We wish them welll and appreciate what they have done for the agritourism industry in our state. Read more about their new future. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Community Supported Agriculture

If you llike to grow vegetables consider "community supported agriculture." CSA's help the farmer share the cost of planting and harvest with members or shareholders and those members or shareholders receive fresh, homegrown fruits and vegetables in return for their money.

Local Harvest has 22 Louisiana listings for community supported agriculture. Click here to learn more.

CSA's are eligible for coverage under the Louisiana Agritourism Limited Liability Law. Click here to learn more or contact Dora Ann Hatch with the LSU AgCenter at

Friday, August 26, 2016

Farmers told to expect flood disaster aid

Louisiana agriculture has been hard hit with the recent flooding. My hearts go out to each of you as you battle restoring your life to normalcy.

If you have been affected by the recent floods, please read the attached article so that you can seek economic compensation. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Food Safety Modernization Act Class in Baton Rouge; Register by August 25, 2016

The LSU AgCenter will host a three-day course on food safety regulations and best practices for preventing contamination on Aug. 29-31.

All class meetings will be held in 212 Efferson Hall on the LSU campus. The first two days will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with breaks for coffee and lunch. The third day will finish by noon.

Those planning to attend must register by Aug. 25. Individuals can register online by going to and selecting the “FSPCA Preventative Controls for Human Food” course option. The fee is $595 and includes all course materials and a certificate.Attendees will hear from AgCenter and Food and Drug Administration experts about Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations that require certain activities to be performed by people trained in foodborne illness prevention. The course will cover developing food safety and recall plans, keeping good records and analyzing hazards.

The curriculum was developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance and is recognized by the FDA, said AgCenter food safety specialist Achyut Adhikari. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate that meets the FDA requirement for preventive controls qualified individuals.

For questions about registration, contact Celika Murphy at or 225-578-4475. Questions about course content should be directed to Adhikari at or 225-578-2529.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Look for Agritourism Opportunities When You Travel

My husband and I spent our summer vacation in the Carolinas this year. We stopped in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina at tourism centers to ask about agritourism venues. Many of the states had agritourism listings in their tourism promotional materials.

One of our most memorable stops was in Waynesville, North Carolina where we visited Barber's Orchard Fruit Stand. The Barbers have been in business since 1932 and their stand was directly across from their apple orchard.  We bought some apples and enjoyed them on our return home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

USDA Announces national Farmers Market Week

National Farmers Market Week is August 7-13, 2016! AMS has created branding to help farmers market managers promote their celebrations and build recognition of National Farmers Market Week. These branding graphics can be used to make posters, emails, buttons, and much more. We’re offering two color options: full-color, or a single-color (brown) format that can work as a neutral for markets with established branding.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Yellow Rails & Rice Festival Coming Soon

Festival Dates:  November 3-6, 2016

                                                 Registration opens: August 1, 2016
Yellow Rails and Rice Festival participants enjoy a unique opportunity to engage in agritourism, observing close-up rice harvesting operations, with the added benefit of seeing Yellow Rails and other rail species (Sora, Virginia, and King) that may be flushed by a combine while it is harvesting rice.

To learn more about the schedule,  click here.
To register online, click here.
If you have any questions, e-mail Donna Dittman directly at
If you want to visit their website, click here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Gather your family and friends and come on out to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of Teddy’s Bearfest’16: A Historical Celebration, commemorating President Theodore Roosevelt’s successful bear hunt expedition in Madison Parish.

The festival is free, starting at 9:00 a.m. with a parade featuring the Madison High School Marching Band. All genres of music will be showcased for the entire family to enjoy, along with lots of food, arts, crafts and children's activities as well as educational and informational exhibits highlighting, live animal and artifacts from the Tensas Wildlife Refuge and Poverty Point.

Date:    October 8, 2016
Time:    9:00am-7:00pm
Where: Courthouse Square, downtown Tallulah
Cost:    Free
Contact: Tina Johnson
Madison Parish Tourism Commission


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sunflower Trail & Festival

Mark your calendars for June 18th and travel To Gilliam, LA.The event is open 9am to 3pm. For more information about the festival  click here. 

I went several years ago and enjoyed making pictures of family members surrounded by sunflowers.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Storybook Image vs Modern Farm Image

We know that children of today read about farming from their storybooks, but do they understand that every farm will not have a "red barn?" For those farmers who are new generation farmers, the farm maybe a metal building.

This was one of the questions raised in GETTING STARTED IN AGRITOURISM By Jim Ochterski and Monika Roth of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Take a look at this article by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Horticulture Hints Available Online

Horticulture Hints provide an overview of what the gardener should be doing during the summer. These hints are provided by the LSU AgCenter. Click here to read.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Agritourism Workshop at Keachi Acres

Keachi Acres in DeSoto Parish is more than just a destination. It’s recreation in its most natural form that was started by Mary Nesbitt as an agritourism business in 1999.

“This is 200 acres that I inherited and had always wanted to live here,” said Nesbitt, owner of the certified agritourism operation. “I have hiking trails, a stocked pond, horses, ducks, chickens and an organic garden. My guests even collect their own eggs for their breakfast. They love it.”

Nesbitt hosted the LSU AgCenter’s 2016 agritourism business workshop for landowners on May 10.
This workshop attracted about 50 people from all over Louisiana who wanted to know more about using their property as an agritourism destination.  To read more click here. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Should States Have Their Own Agritourism Association?

Recently, someone asked the National Agritourism Professional Association about whether or not a state should have an association. Penny Leff,  Agritourism Coordinator at the University of California ANR Small Farm Program shared her research in California on this subject. 

Penny, recently interviewed more than 20 leaders of local agritourism associations in California and compiled this guide based on their experiences and advice:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

FREE Agritourism Webinar On Social Media & Website Success

   Social Media & Website Success Webinar

Date: June 2, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Contact: Penny Leff,, 530-752-7779
Sponsor: UC Small Farm Program
Location: online

Event Details

The University of California Small Farm Program is teaming up with FarmsReach to provide a series of free practical webinars and an online forum for conversations about agritourism. Everyone involved in California agritourism is welcome to join these lunchtime webinars and online conversations, starting May 19, 2016. Webinar registration is required, but there is no charge for the webinars. People who register will be emailed login information for the webinars.
Agritourism Conversations Lunchtime Webinars(all webinars will be 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time)
Thursday June 2 - The Invitation: Social Media & Website Success
Presenters: Kristin York, Sierra Business Council and Lauren Gagliano Saline, Suzie's Farm

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Agritourism Workshop in Keachi, LA, May 10th; Register today online

We are just days away from a great agritourism workshop. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; workshop ends at 3 p.m.

It's not too late to register online for this event or by calling Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter, Agritourism Coordinator at (318) 927-9654 x229 or e-mailing her at

To see the brochure with agenda and details click here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Agritourism World, are you Listed?

Agritourism World offers free listings to those who apply on their international website. We have very few listed from Louisiana.

This site helps those interested in agritourism tour our world seeing all the sights and sounds of agricultural operations. Click here to learn how to register.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Idaho Farmer Finds Success with Agri-tourism

Iowa Public Broadcasting's Market to Market program featured Mary Jane Butters, an agritourism professional, click here to see the video  .

She is inspiring and has some great ideas that would be perfect for Louisiana.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Test Your Soil

The LSU AgCenter Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab can test soils, as well as plants and water, to help home gardeners and agriculture industry professionals alike achieve better results.

Who should test soil? Soil testing can be helpful to homeowners who are sodding lawns or adding new trees, flowers, shrubs and other plants. Landscapers, farmers, agriculture consultants and scientific researchers can also take advantage of the lab’s services.

Soil testing kits are available at any LSU AgCenter parish extension office and numerous nurseries and hardware stores around Louisiana. People should send samples of soils that haven’t been amended with fertilizers or lime.

Testing fees will be assessed and vary depending on which tests are requested.

More information about the lab, including directions for collecting samples, is available on the AgCenter’s website by searching for “Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab” or by calling 225-578-1219.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Annual Small Ruminant Field Day Announced

Annual Small Ruminant Field Day, Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm; registration begins at 7:30 am at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. the cost is $5 a person or $10 for a family.

Morning Agenda:

Forage management/Nutrition/Health Synergies
Feeding with distiller grains
Infectious and parasitic diseases
Reproduction performance
Drug use and off-label issues

Afternoon Agenda

Herd management cycle
Southern University research and extension update
Demonstrations & Hands-on
- FAMACHA certification
- Fecal collection, blood collection, injections
- Banding, docking, castration, body condition scoring


For More Information
Field day: Jim Miller 225-578-9652
Ken McMillin 225-578-3438
Small ruminant certification program:
Sebhatu Gebrelul 225-771-3841
Major Sponsor

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Farm Stays

Overnight farm stays are gaining in popularity. In neighboring Arkansas, Thomas and Ruth Pepler, owners of Dogwood Hills Farm in Harriet, AR, include farm chores in their overnight stay.  With the help of daughter Grace, a 4-H’er, The Pepler’s share their daily chores: milking, gathering eggs and feeding animal with guests.

To learn how to start a similar agritourism operation, attend our Agritourism Workshop on May 10, 2016; click here for details.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Agritourism workshop set for May 10 in DeSoto Parish

The LSU AgCenter's agritourism program and Mississippi State's natural Resource enterprises program will co-sponsor:
DeSoto Parish Agritourism Workshop
Keachi* Acres, LLC
9192 Hwy 5
Keachi, LA 71046
May 10th, 2016
*Also spelled Keatchie on navigation devices.
This one day workshop will provide a broad overview of agritourism. Successful entreprenuers will share stories about how they got started and continue to grow. Speakers will address these topics: agritourism liability, recreational enterprises, direct marketing of clean food, regional food system analysis, starting a bed and breakfast, developing nature trails and the Louisiana Natural Areas Registry program.
Download the brochure from this link and register today.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Briarwood Nature Preserve Annual Picnic, April 2nd

8:00 Birdwatching tour departs (bring your binoculars)

10: 00 General Registration, Tour Information and Coffee be sure to check in at the registration table
to be eligible for door prizes and get the latest information.

10:30 Morning Walking and Golf Cart Tours Depart the Education Building *

11:30 - 2:00 Music by the Back Porch Band in the Pavilion

11:30 – 1:30 Lunch is served in the Interpretive Center

1:00 Door Prizes/Raffle (Raffle grand prize is an overnight stay at the Writers Cabin so be sure to buy
your tickets at the registration for this rare opportunity)

1:30 Afternoon Walking and Golf Cart Tours Depart the Interpretive Center *

*PLEASE NOTE: The number of riders for the cart tours is limited. Cart seats are available in the order of arrival at
the start of the tour with preference to those who have limited walking mobility. We thank you for your understanding.

DORMON FOUNDATION, INC. Mail to: Dormon Foundation, P.O. Box 226, Natchitoches, LA 71458
(Ticket requests received after March 25th will he held for you at the registration table)
NAME: ___________________________________________________________________
ADDRESS: ________________________________________________________________
PHONE NUMBER(S) ________________________________________________________
CATEGORIES OF GIVING: **ANGEL ($1,000.00) $____________________
**PATRON ($500.00) $____________________
*SPONSOR ($250.00) $____________________
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS #___________@ ($50.00) $____________________
TOTAL ENCLOSED $____________________
NUMBER CHILDREN ATTENDING 13 – 18 ($10.00 ea.) __________
NUMBER CHILDREN ATTENDING under 12 (no charge) __________
Number ________ participating in the bird watching tour at 8:00 – tour briefing to take place at 7:45.
Tour information: The Charlotte Collins train and Cow Oak Flats trails will once again be on the tour to enhance
your Briarwood experience; and we have added the Mallard trail along the north side of the Readhimer Pond.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Airbnb is trending among agritourism operators because it offers online booking through a reputable agency and provides liability insurance.  Agritourism operators who have lodging accommodations can join Airbnb and rent out their accommodations. To learn more go to Airbnb.

Lodging on agricultural lands is included in the 2008 Agritourism Limited Liability Law's activity list, to learn more click here.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Vegetable Gardening Guides for Louisiana Available Online

The LSU AgCenter offers a series of guides with tips on growing better vegetables.

The free guides located on the AgCenter website, provide information on selecting varieties that grow well in Louisiana and in the amount of space and soil type in individual gardens. Tips on when and how to plant and fertilize are included, along with remedies for common insect, disease and weed problems and advice on harvesting and storing vegetables.

Guides are available on beans, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, onions, shallots and garlic.

“These guides are a great resource for both new and experienced gardeners,” said Melanie Lewis Ivey, an AgCenter plant pathologist. “We are continually updating the guides with new varieties and sustainable, earth-friendly practices for managing unwanted pests in the garden.”

The files can be downloaded at and putting vegetable gardening tips in the search box.

Click here to see agriculture venues covered under the 2008 Agritourism Limited Liability Law. Check the activity list included in the law.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Time to Buy Plants at Spring Fest

Northeast Louisiana Master Gardeners will present Spring Fest 2016 and the eighth annual spring plant sale at the West Monroe Farmers Market from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 16.

LSU AgCenter horticulture agent Kerry Heafner said the sale will feature Louisiana Super Plants, vegetables, herbs, houseplants, tropical plants, flowing vines, flowering trees, butterfly garden plants, ornamental shrubs, shade garden plants and wildflowers.

The sale is a good place to find selections of plants not usually found locally, he said.

“Local Master Gardeners will be available to help you select the best plants for your yard and garden, answer questions, provide gardening tips and even help load your car,” he said.

A preview sale will be held on April 15 from noon to 6 p.m. for those who want to get started early.

The West Monroe Farmers Market is located at 1700 N. Seventh St. For additional information, contact Heafner at 318-323-2251.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Searcy County in AR using Agritourism to Market County

I recently liked the Searcy County Agritourism page on Facebook.
they are using their assets in agriculture to bring tourists; with their posts they are showing others what they have.  Way to go Searcy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Forestry Forum, March 11 in Hammond

The 27th annual Florida Parishes Forestry Forum is scheduled for March 11 at the University Center at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

The forum will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 2:45 p.m. The theme is Updating Forest Landowners, according to LSU AgCenter area forester Brian Chandler.

The forum, which is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, will feature Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain and provide information on the status of EPA’s Waters of the U.S. and other forestry issues. There will be speakers on genetically improved pine seedlings, forestry development outside of Louisiana, problems facing loggers, herbicide issues, tax issues and a Louisiana forestry teacher tour.

“All of these topics affect local forest landowners,” Chandler said.

Registration is $25 per person before March 3 and $40 after. The fee includes lunch.

For more information or to receive a program with a registration form, contact Chandler at 225-683-3101 or

Our forest lands offer many opportunites for agritourism, so attend this meeting to keep your forest healthy and give me a call to learn more about agritourism. Call (318) 927-9654 x229 or e-mail me at

Friday, February 26, 2016

Annie's Workshop Coming to Napoleonville

Women in agriculture will not want to miss attending this five week series beginning March 1st. Clases are eachTuesday evening from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. 

For more information call Deborah Cross-Young at 225-281-9470-or e-mail

Only $50 for all five sessions!

I will be one of the guest speakers on March 15th, sharing how to start an agritourism operation.

To learn more about agritourism click here.
Annie's Project click here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Integrating Safety into Agritourism

Web-based safety tool to make debut at Wisconsin agritourism summit

The redesigned “Integrating Safety into Agritourism” website (, with mobile-friendly checklists and virtual walkthroughs, will be officially unveiled on Feb. 23 at the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association (WATA) Summit, Hotel Marshfield, Marshfield, Wis.

The website will be featured in a Summit workshop on Emergency Response Planning led by Marsha Salzwedel, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, part of the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. Other Summit topics will include Historic Agriculture, Social Media, Marketing and Legislative Updates. The two-day Summit ( begins on Feb. 22.

“This redesign reflects how farmers prefer to get their information,” Salzwedel said. Farmers increasingly are using tablets and smartphones, according to a Farm Journal Media survey of more than 1,000 producers. The survey indicated that by the end of 2016, 60 percent of farmers will own tablets and nearly 90 percent will own smartphones.   

Central Wisconsin developer Matt Pilz led the redesign. Pilz brought special app development expertise to the project, having won three grand prizes in 2013 Intel-sponsored worldwide competitions.

The work seems to have paid off. Here is feedback from farmers and ag educators who pilot-tested

  • “I really like the flow, and it was easy for someone like me to navigate and find what I was looking for.” - Tom Tweite, Tweite’s Family Farm, Byron, Minn.

  • “I did quite a bit of browsing and going through the walkthroughs and checklists. It will be nice to be able to have this on a portable device to take to the field. Can't wait.” - Dave Meuer, Meuer Farm LLC, Chilton, Wis.

  • “You make my work as an educator easy! I like this easy to use format.” - Dora Ann Hatch, Agritourism  Coordinator, Louisiana State University

“Integrating Safety into Agritourism” features virtual walkthroughs covering 15 key areas of agritourism including petting zoos, hand washing/restrooms, large animal safety, farmers’ markets, food safety and more. Farmers can access the mobile-friendly checklists on their tablets, fill them out while walking their property, and then save the information for their records. The website also contains information about insurance, along with numerous print-ready resources such as signs, policies, logs and information handouts – all available at no cost.

Additionally, the website content was reviewed for compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 standards help ensure that all users, regardless of disability status, can access the website content.

“I’ve worked a lot with farmers who offer agritourism activities on their farms,” said Salzwedel. “One thing they all tell me is they want their visitors to have fun – and be safe while they are doing it. This newly designed website, with all its mobile friendly features, will make it easier for farmers to implement the safety part. The fun part, well, that will be up to them.”


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA’s as they are commonly referred to offer those who want to prepare their own food the opportunity to buy directly from the farmer.  When one becomes a CSA member they share in the cost of farming.  

CSA owners provide baskets or boxes of their harvest to paid members for a certain period of weeks throughout the year. Every operation is different; some CSA owners transport the boxes to a central location for member pick-up while others home deliver for an additional fee. Depending on the number of weeks of harvest and the quantity of vegetables preferred these prices vary across our state. 

Many CSA's advertise on Local Harvest website; go to Local Harvest; select CSA and type in your zipcode and a CSA near you will pop up.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Agritourism Explained

I just read a great article from the newsfeed entitled, "Beyond the Buzzword: Agritourism Explained," by Peter Greenburg. In this article he explains the diversity of operations that are considered agritourism.

If you live in Louisiana our definition is simply: agritourism is a business venture located on a working farm, ranch, or other commercial agricultural, horticultural, or forestry operation that provides an “experience” for  visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner.

Louisiana also has an agritourism limited liability law which has a similar definition and lists the activitites that can be covered under the law.

For more information on how to start an agritourism business go to:


Monday, January 25, 2016

Add Flowers and Roses for Eye Appeal to Entrances

Entrances to agritourism operations should be welcoming. Consider adding flowers and roses  for eye appeal.  If you decide on roses, it's time to get those roses planted accoridng to Dr. Dan Gill, horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter.  He provides the  how-to's in a recent article. Click here to read.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Louisiana Agritourism Connection January 2016

The latest edition of The Louisiana Agritourism Connection  is now available online. Click to read. Topics covered in this newsletter highlight some of our recently certified agritourism operations and a new resource to enable landowners to host camping.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Start a Facebook Page to Tell Your Agriculture Story

I'm always surfing to help my readers with new ideas  they can use to grow their agritourism venues. Today, I've found an excellent resource by Kristen Stauffer, a wife, mother, dairy farmer, blogger and picture taker whose 2013 article entitled, "My Top 10 Helpful Hints to Start a Farm Page!" encourages farmers to share life on the farm.

Her article is well written with lots of great information on starting a Facebook page to promote your agricultural venue.  If you have a Facebook page read the article and see if you need to make revisions to your existing page.  If you don't have a page, this article will inspire you to create one. Click here for the link.

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Forestry Forum in West Monroe, January 15th

Presented with Ag Expo

Friday, January 15, 2016
8 a.m.-12 p.m.

West Monroe Convention Center
901 Ridge Ave.
West Monroe, LA 71291

REGISTRATION 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Program begins at 8:30 a.m.

8:25am             Welcome – Luke Stamper, Extension Associate, LSU AgCenter, Catahoula Parish

8:30am             2016 Forestry Market Outlook – Dr. Shaun Tanger, Agriculture Economics, LSU AgCenter

9:00am             Benefits of a Consulting Forester – Steve Templin, Consulting Forester, Templin Forestry LLC

9:30am             Tax Saving Topics for Timberland Owners – Paul D. Spillers, Board Certified Tax Attorney

10:10am           BREAK

10:25am           Drax Biomass Russell L. Hatcher, Certified Forester, Fiber Procurement Manager, Morehouse Bioenergy, LLC

10:55am           UAV’s for Forest Applications – Wesley Palmer, GIS Program Coordinator, School of Forestry, Louisiana Tech University

11:30am           Buck Vandersteen, Director of Louisiana Forestry Association

11:45am           Recreational Enterprise Potential on your Land - Daryl Jones, Natural Resource Enterprises Program Coordinator, MSU Extension Service & Dora Ann Hatch, Agritourism Coordinator, LSU AgCenter

12:00pm           ADJOURN

The Northeast Forestry Forum qualifies for 4 CLE credit hours for the Louisiana Logging Council.

The Northeast Forestry Forum qualifies for CFE contact hours for the Society of American Foresters.

For Registration Details Please Call:
            Catahoula Parish Extension Office at 318-744-5442 or

Luke Stamper at 318-805-8819 or by email at

Friday, January 8, 2016

Agritourism Newsletter Available Online

The Louisiana Agritourism Connection Newsletter for January, 2016 is now available online. Click here.

Topics covered in this newsletter highlight some of our certified agritourism operations and a new resource to enable landowners to host camping called HipCamp.

To read more newsletters or to learn more about agritourism, click here. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Land Sharing Through HipCamps

The Hipcamp's Land Share Program orginally started in California and has now expanded throughout the U.S.This land share program allows private landowners the ability to earn money by opening their property to people looking to connect with nature through unique camping experiences.

Recently, one of our Louisiana Certified Agritourism Operations, shared information on Hipcamp with me. I thought it might be of interest to those agritourism operators who have had difficulty in locating insurance for their venues.

Hipcamp's push is to get people outdoors and they list private and public places on their website. Click here to learn more.