Workshop Supports Need for Agritourism Business Development

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) participated in the South Dakota Agritourism Workshop on Feb. 20-21, 2020. This event provided a full day of educational programming for agritourism businesses focused on successful business development.

Tour at Prairie Paradise Farms, which is a working farm with small scale livestock production.

The presentations were resource from SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Revenue, Small Business Association, United States Department of Agriculture, Small Business Development Center, South Dakota Value Added Agriculture and SDSPA.

The second day featured a bus tour of three agritourism businesses in the Pierre area. The first stop was Prairie Paradise Farms, owned by Crystal and Levi Neuharth, which is a working farm with small scale livestock production. The favorite of the visit was the goats and their “kids.” Too cute! Crystal is promoting the farm as a “working farm” with all the realities of farming included.

Lunch during the Snake Den Lodge tour. The Griffith’s provided an excellent overview of the pheasant hunting business.

The second stop was Snake Den Lodge, owned by Casey and Jamie Griffith, in Presho, SD. The Griffith’s provided an excellent overview of the pheasant hunting businesses in South Dakota. The tour group had a wonderful lunch at the lodge and networking with other tour members. They also impressed a lot of the visitors with a real snake den! 

The third and last stop was at Antelope Creek Horses and Horseback riding. Diana Melvin has a unique approach with her horses and farm participants. She has experience with mental health and provides the horses as therapy for her customers. She explained how horses behave and the benefits the horses can provide for mental health therapy.

Chelsea Stensland from Stensland Family Farms sharing the Stensland story and agritourism activities that they provide.

The education day followed by farm visits was beneficial to attendees. Participants included those currently in the agritourism business and others preparing to enter the agritourism world. It was stated many times that your everyday lives are fascinating to the traveling public. It is a need waiting to be fulfilled. 

“South Dakota is blessed with many opportunities in agriculture. We must work together and promote all agriculture, there is room for everyone at the table,” said Jody Anderson, S.D. AG United.

South Dakota Department of Tourism is promoting the viability of agritourism businesses in South Dakota. This workshop is the first of hopefully many more to come. SDSPA is supportive of the collaboration with the Department of Tourism and SDSU Extension to continue to develop viable agritourism businesses in South Dakota.