ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Agritourism is probably not something you hear talked about every day concerning the local economy, but it's very vital and making a huge impact.
The fifth annual Virginia Agritourism Conference is happening in Roanoke. It's a chance to learn how agritourism is impacting your hometown.
Agritourism combines agriculture and tourism. Farmers are using this to drive the local economy by simply doing things that spark people's interest to come visit their farms.
Agritourism is making $2.2 billion in economic impact.
For example, Layman Family Farms in Blue Ridge puts on an annual Fall Festival. One of the attractions there is the huge corn maze you can walk through. Tens of thousands of people come out to this festival every year.
Another big one is the Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival in Botetourt County. People travel from all over just to take in the acres upon acres of golden sunflowers.
And we can't forget the huge impact our wineries have on tourism. Wine-tasting tours are a popular weekend getaway in this region.
The Virginia Agritourism Conference is happening Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.
The first day of the conference you'll be able to take a tour of a local farm that is an agritourism venue. The second day of the conference you'll be able to network and learn how to develop an agritourism operation.
The deadline to register is Friday, March 22. Click here to register.