Q&A About Oregon Agritourism Partnership

What types of agritourism operations are served by OAP?

OAP is an advocate for all sizes and types of agritourism farms and value-added enterprises, including agritourism producers who may be in the early stages of developing as a visitor-ready business.  (Early point resource connector).

Why is it important for the agritourism industry to be led by agritourism producers?

Agritourism producers are the most knowledgeable about the day-to-day challenges and opportunities of agritourism. They have a better knowledge of how a decision or policy would affect agriculture production than someone not working in the agriculture industry.

Why is OAP influential in the agriculture industry?

The organization leadership is made up of people who are recognized as leaders in Oregon agriculture production and value-added processing and in the agritourism segment. These leaders are influential within the main agriculture nonprofits, commodity groups, and agencies.

Why is it better to have an OAP agritourism community rather than individual operators?

OAP offers an economy of scale for operations and collaborative basic marketing efforts.  (Marketing clusters, liability signs, group marketing brochures, etc.)

How can OAP remain sustainable?

OAP intends to sustain itself as a useful vehicle for agritourism producers to be able to continually improve their product/ visitor experience through peer innovation, problem-solving, and best practices. Currently, the operation runs profitably with memberships, grants and donations, however, additional funding is needed to put in place an Executive Director and office operation so that the organization may grow to the next level.

How can OAP affect public policy?

While as a 501(c) 3, OAP is not permitted to lobby or provide endorsements, the organization can still identify and communicate needs for policy change. In addition, OAP can connect with partnering organizations to fill the lobbying role or a form a new advocacy group.  A 501(c) 3 organization is able to conduct a reasonable amount of research and provide opinions, information and informational testimony. Any policy affecting agritourism will need to be supported by major agriculture lobbying organizations, or the legislation will probably not pass. As such, agriculture lobbying organizations need to be part of the policy development process from the beginning.

Is OAP a substitute for the role of the DMOs?

It is not the intent of OAP to become a substitute for the role of DMOS in marketing agritourism. Instead, OAP partners with DMOs and other partners to provide overall development and success for agritourism operators. 

How can OAP provide education and professional improvement to agritourism operators?

One of the many partners of OAP is the Oregon State University Extension Service. OSUES has offices in each county and Extension faculty who provide technical support and trainings in the field of agriculture and business development.