DACF Home → Bureaus & Programs → Agricultural Resource Development Division → Market Promotion and Special Events → Agritourism
Helpful information for visitors, farmers and agricultural supporters.
Agritourism helps people explore farming and agriculture. It takes many forms, from farm visits, tours, and local shopping, to cultural, recreational, and learning experiences. It generates additional farm income and enhances connections between agriculture and the broader community. For example, on-farm tours help visitors learn how farms grow crops and farm animals. Farm tours show how farm products are made. It's important to support Maine farmers year-round, not only to learn more about the availability of quality Maine farm products but also to create memorable experiences!
Highlights of great Maine agritourism experiences include:
- Exploring the business of farming where it happens.
- Meeting the farmers who create farm products.
- Learning about the connections between farms and Maine's working landscapes.
There's a wide variety of opportunities that offer memorable agritourism experiences in Maine:
- Pick-your-own fruits and vegetables during summer and fall.
- Facility tours that taste award-winning craft beverages, cheeses, and fine specialty foods
- Demonstrations of how fibers are processed to create clothing and art
- Special weekend or day-long events celebrating Maine crops and farms across the state.
- Custom events, including weddings and large gatherings.
Agritourism is a chance for people to understand the diversity and value of farms in their communities. We encourage visitors, farmers, and agricultural supporters to learn more!
Save the date! Opportunities for Patrons, Farmers, and Supporters!
There are several statewide events that typically happen every year. You can also find other activities and events too.
- Create a trip itinerary with Real Maine's trip planning tool.
- View list of events on the Real Maine Event Calendar.
- Search and find farms that offer tours, activities and events.
|Event Name||Annual Event Dates|
|Maine Maple Sunday®||Fourth Sunday of March|
|Maine Open Farm Day||Fourth Sunday of July|
|Maine Cheese Festival||Early-September|
|Maine Apple Sunday||Mid-September|
|Maine Winery Day||Mid-September|
|New England Fall Maple Tour||Early October|
|Open Creamery Day||Second Sunday of October|
|Fall Fiber Tour & Trail||Second Sunday of October|
For Patrons: How to Support Maine Farms and Find Agritourism Events
There are many ways to support farms. This includes choosing farm products to enjoy year-round. Another way to support farms is to learn more about agriculture and understand how these Maine businesses create quality products. There are thousands of farms in Maine. Hundreds offer tours, events, and educational experiences, as well as quality farm products.
Make your visit memorable trip for everyone involved! Here are some tips for your agricultural exploration:
- Help keep farms healthy — stay home if sick.
- Seek current schedules for daily and seasonal updates.
- Keep pets at home.
- Use good hygiene before and after the visit.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Bring a cooler and ice to keep peak food quality.
- Stay in visitor areas. Follow instructions and signs.
- Carry-in, carry-out trash, and recyclables.
- Ask farmers how to enjoy farm products year-round!
Preserve the Harvest - Finding Maine Ingredients
Pick-your-own, or U-Pick farms, offer you a chance to harvest the freshest produce direct from the farm. Learn food preservation techniques from the experts. View UMaine Cooperative Extension resources for food preservation.
For Farmers: Resource Library to Support Your Agritourism Endeavor
Safety and Liability
- Liability in Maine Agritourism Statute - Review the State of Maine statute about agritourism liability.
- Maine Bureau of Insurance, Consumer Guide to Insuring Your Farm (PDF) - This covers the basics of property and liability coverage.
- Integrating Safety into Agritourism - These checklists are designed to assist farms with identifying potential safety hazards, how to implement safety strategies, and provide farms with the resources to address safety issues once identified on their operations.
- Maine Agritourism Liability Sign, Print-ready, 24 x 30-inch (PDF) – Includes required language from liability statute. May be used as an option to professionally print sign for display during agritourism activities.
Safety and Health
- Maine CDC Train the Trainer Guide (PDF) - Understanding diseases that can be transferred between people and animals. Learn how to keep your farm and animals healthy.
- Maine CDC Train the Trainer Course – Helpful guidance for farmers, fairs, and others who should know about animal-to-human disease prevention.
- Signs -Catalog of food safety, zoonotic disease, handwashing - Includes pre-made signs to help you share important messages about farm, animal, and people health. To order or download for printing.
- Real Maine Media Toolbox (PDF) - Tips and tools for your farm marketing and promotions.
- Directional Signs, Print-ready, 8.5 x 11 (PDF) – A set of 13 signs to help farmers direct and instruct farm visitors to agritourism activities.
A list of courses, webinar recordings and fact sheets covering a breadth of agritourism topics
- Farm-assessment tools - An educational videos series; an online enterprise budget tool; and fact sheets - Rutgers Cooperative Extension
- Risk Management Education for Farmers with On-Farm Visitors - Iowa State Cooperative Extension
- Beginner’s Assessment, Farm Experiences, Finances, Safety and Marketing Info - University of Vermont Cooperative Extension
- National Ag Law Center Agritourism Overview
- USDA National Agriculture Library, “Agritourism and Farm Tours”
For Farmers: Important Contacts
Subscribe to Agritourism Updates for Farmers
Maine Open Farm Day
- Email: email@example.com
Maine Bureau of Insurance
- Phone: 207-624-8475
- Contact Bureau of Insurance
Agritourism Promotional Events and Real Maine Promotions
- Agricultural Resource Development Division
- Email: DACFRealMaine@maine.gov
- Phone: 207-287-3491
- ARD Market Promotions Resources
- Quality Assurances & Regulations (support and applications for licenses and access to laboratory testing)
- Phone: 207-287-3841
- Permits and licenses
- Maine DHHS, District Health Inspectors (Maine Food Code, eating places, camps, lodging, etc.):
- Phone: 207-287-5671
- Contact Health Inspection Staff
- General information and resources
- Access forms, and applications
State Veterinarians, Animal and Plant Health Staff: Farm biosecurity, right to farm, nutrient management and more
- Phone: 207-287-3491
- Contact Staff
Emergency Preparedness & Public Safety: Safety and emergency planning between businesses, and first responders at town, county and state levels
Maine Dept. of Transportation: Maine Road Signs and placement, byways, traffic counts, general info)
- Phone: 207-624-3332
- About Official Business Directional Signs (OBDS) reflectorized signs
- About Scenic Byways
- View general info
Maine Tourism and Hospitality: Training, metrics and contacts
For Agricultural Supporters: Resources for Towns, Organizations and Businesses
Maine agriculture is unique, varied, and important. Farmers play a vital role in communities across the state. Farming is a livelihood that provides on-farm jobs. It also supports other local businesses. The working landscapes of agriculture provide an attractive scenery to visitors who travel to view Maine’s iconic scenery. Agritourism provides communities with interactive experiences, from shopping at the farm for quality farm products, to seasonal recreational activities.
Supporters of agriculture can show their support in many ways. Examples of efforts include:
- Buying and using Maine farm products– the Real Maine promotional website and the wholesale website are places to start
- Connecting with, and listening to farmers’ short-, and long-term needs
- Volunteer for and promote community events
- Proactively collaborating and communicating for special event planning and directional signage for larger events
- Supporting educational efforts. For example, programs such as Harvest of the Month, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, Maine FFA and Maine 4-H
There are many ways to further support farmers that may be unique to your town and community. You can network, learn and share this information with others across the state who want to support Maine agriculture and our state’s working landscapes.
Email Us with your ideas and for more information about supporting Maine farms and agricultural events!
Promotional Resources—for agricultural supporters and businesses
- Call us at 207-287-3491
- or visit our section on Market Promotion
The professionals who provide guidance, reference, and strategy on zoning, design, legal applications, use of resources in communities, etc.