North Dakota’s agritourism experiences continue to grow with new providers

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Agriculture providers help connect people with rural way of life

Bismarck, N.D. – National interest in connecting with the rural way of life continues to increase, making North Dakota a prime destination. As a result of the interest, North Dakota’s agritourism offerings continue to grow as more of the state’s providers open their doors to visitors.

Agritourism is the practice of inviting guests to visit and/or participate in working farm or ranch activities. According to Dean Ihla, tourism development manager at North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism Division, it’s an opportunity to educate visitors on current farm and ranch operations while showcasing our rich agricultural heritage. “Farms and ranches participating in agritourism activities provide urban residents with hands-on experience and an up-close-and-personal snapshot of rural life,” Ihla said.

North Dakota Tourism has been promoting agritourism experiences for a number of years, but a formal program began in 2010. When registered in North Dakota Tourism’s program, the agritourism provider receives promotional assistance and greater limited liability protection. Of North Dakota’s 48 agritourism providers, 27 are registered with North Dakota Tourism.

Ihla noted that interest in offering agritourism experiences is strong and continues to grow. “Right now I’m aware of 37 providers who are considering adding it to their operation.”

New or expanded agritourism opportunities for 2013 include:

  • gardendwellersFARM, North Dakota’s only culinary herb farm that specializes in more than 15 varieties of cooking herbs, has opened in its new location. Owners Barry and Holly Mawby use their 20 years of experience to teach visitors how to grow, cook with and preserve high-quality seasonings. Visitors can attend cooking demonstrations, tour herb fields, participate in tastings, create home decorations using fresh herbs and learn about small fruit culture for North Dakota. Herbs are also available for purchase. gardendwellersFARM is located 10 miles from Esmond on Highway 19 or approximately 14 miles south and eight miles east (gravel county road) of Rugby. www.gardendwellersfarm.com.
  • A 5,000-acre working family farm near Carrington is home to Pipestem Creek Bed and Birding. Given its proximity to prime birding opportunities – Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge is five miles down the road – Pipestem Creek markets mainly to birders by offering on-site birding, tours and lodging. The family also welcomes hunters and anyone wanting to experience life on a rural, small grain farm.  Guests can pick fresh vegetables from the garden or pick flowers from the many floral gardens. www.pipestemcreek.com
  •  Lone Butte Ranch, 15 miles from the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, offers lodging in two authentic log cabins spread out on a serene Badlands ranch. Each cabin has a pen and hay barn for guests who bring their own horses to ride in the Badlands. Other activities include birding and hiking.  www.lonebutteranch.com
  • Prairiewood Winery offers an informative tour of its vineyard and winery in southeastern North Dakota, west of Lisbon.  Guests can also sample wine available for purchase. Hours are seasonal, and they also accept appointments for group gatherings and parties. www.facebook.com/pages/Prairiewood-Winery/135107236529146
  •  Llerenas Apiaries and A Touch of Honey in Linton will be offering apiary tours from July 15 through September 30, giving guests an up close look at how honey is made and processed. Guests start the tours at the bee yard to look into a beehive and see the bees at work, then proceed to the operations to watch the honey removal process and lastly the bottling process. Honey products are available for purchase in the gift shop. Tours are available by appointment only by calling 701-254-5455 or by emailing tofhoney@bektel.com.
  •  Guests can explore prairie vistas at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge near Havana and stay in an authentic Ponderosa Pine lodge with all the amenities of a modern home. Decorated with local artwork and rustic wood furniture, this 14-bedroom lodge comfortably accommodates 45 guests and is sure to be a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, crafters, quilters, family gatherings and the casual traveler. This family-owned business on 3,000 acres of farmland will later expand to include offerings like first-hand farm and ranch experiences and tours and horse-drawn buggy and sleigh rides.   www.cdplodge.com

 

For more information on becoming an agritourism operator, please contact Ihla at the North Dakota Tourism Division at dihla@nd.gov or by calling 701-328-3505. 

As one of North Dakota’s leading industries, tourism attracts visitors to the state’s 646 attractions, 357 events and festivals, and 886 hotels. In addition, more than 33,000 jobs in North Dakota are attributed to this robust industry.