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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host agritourism conference in Albuquerque Nov. 12-14

ALBUQUERQUE – Agritourism can diversify an agricultural operation beyond growing and selling crops and livestock.

The industry is widespread in the United States, with a wide range of activities for agritourists to participate in, from picking fruits and vegetables, riding horses, tasting honey, and learning about wine- and cheese-making to shopping in farm gift stores and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts.

New Mexico State University will host the 2015 New Mexico Agritourism Conference Nov. 12 to 14 at the MCM Hotel Elegante, 2020 Menaul Blvd. in Albuquerque.

“Agricultural businesses are looking for alternative ways to diversify their operations and bring in additional income,” said Pat Torres, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service northern district director.

The NMSU Small Farm and Ranch Task Force is hosting the conference to provide ideas and options for the agricultural producers.

The conference will include tours on Thursday, Nov. 12, of several agritourism operations in the Albuquerque area.

General session will be held Friday and Saturday morning, Nov. 13 and 14, at the hotel, with breakout sessions Friday afternoon.

Topics will include successful methods of agritourism and how to build a business’ brand, dealing with liability issues, how to build relationships with similar producers to develop festival events, marketing and promotion, and how to target tourists.

Four tracks of sessions will be available during the breakout sessions. Topics will include culture and educational tourism, farm diversification, expanding direct marketing, and dude ranch, bed and breakfast and recreational vehicle operations.

Advance registration prior to Oct. 22 is $125 for the first person in the operation. Registration at the door will be $150. For more information, call Monica Lury at 505-983-4615 or Augusta Archuleta at 505-852-2668. Visit the conference website at http://aces.nmsu.edu/agritourism/ for more information and to register.