Maine Agritourism

Helpful information for visitors, farmers and agricultural supporters.

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Applications NOW OPEN! Agritourism Course – Prioritizing Small Ruminant Dairies, Launch Fall 2023

Maine Cheese Guild, Maine Department of Agriculture to Help Pilot a Dairy Agritourism Course

Application Due Date +

  • Preference is given to applicants who apply by October 20, 2023.
  • This is a rolling application. Any interested licensed small ruminant dairy is invited to apply for consideration (including for a future course). If you are not a small ruminant dairy, but are interested in a future course, please subscribe to our news updates.

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Selection Announcement Date +

  • Initial application responses will be sent by email in November, 2023.

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Course Timeline +

  • Introductory group session tentative start date is November, 2023.
  • Project end date is May 2025.

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Participant Commitment Details +

  • The cost for the course is the participant’s time commitment, including the application, courses, and required consultation meetings. Course is offered free of charge to selected applicants.
  • Requires an approximate time commitment of two hours per week.
  • Requires regular communication with the agritourism consultant who will lead you through the program and will visit your operation no fewer than three times. In these visits, the independent consultant will offer expert guidance on improvements to the visitor experience and visitor safety on your farm. These visits are not regulatory, and the consultant has no authority to evaluate your farming operation or farming practices. Visits to your farm are for the sole purpose of this program and to help achieve your goals.
  • Program participants are expected to be available for on-site consultations, check-ins, and online coursework.
  • At the program conclusion, participants shall participate in a dedicated promotional event— e.g. a farm tour showcasing their business and improvements.

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Eligibility Criteria +

  • The applicant must be an established private, for-profit company with existing agritourism activities that is owned by individuals, partners, or corporations that grows or produce at least one specialty crop as defined by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. For more information about what crops qualify, please visit the USDA website that lists specialty crops. Examples, include but are not limited to: berry, orchard, winery, vineyard, fruit and vegetable, cut flower, Christmas tree, maple syrup, etc. Examples of agritourism enterprises include direct-marketing (farmstands, stores, CSAs, farmers’ markets, workshops, tours, etc.) and other types of farm sales channels.
  • The applicant must own and operate a small ruminant, dairy farm business that has been producing agricultural products commercially in the State of Maine at the time of application; if agritourism activity has not begun, the farm must be in the process of developing a plan to add agritourism to their business;
  • The applicant must have ownership of the land that is being farmed, or be a partner or shareholder in a legal entity that owns the farmland;
  • If the applicant has recently purchased farmland, they must provide evidence that they have had at least two years (24 months) of experience operating a commercial farm operation elsewhere in Maine;
  • The applicant must have valid State of Maine Milk License.

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Maine Agritourism Course Application

View the application questions (PDF) – reference only. Please apply via the online application.

About Agritourism

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 to learn more about the availability of quality Maine farm products and 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!

Agritourism Resources

Save the date! Opportunities for Patrons, Farmers, and Supporters!

Several statewide events typically happen every year. You can also find other activities and events too.

Statewide Agritourism Events in Maine
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 about agriculture and understand how these Maine businesses create quality products. There are thousands of farms in Maine. Many farms offer tours, events, educational experiences and quality farm products.

Visitor Tips

Make your visit a 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

Safety and Health


Online Learning

A list of courses, webinar recordings, and fact sheets covering a breadth of agritourism topics

For Farmers: Important Contacts

Subscribe to Agritourism Updates for Farmers

Maine Open Farm Day

Maine Bureau of Insurance

Agritourism Promotional Events and Real Maine Promotions

Food Safety:

State Veterinarians, Animal and Plant Health Staff: Farm biosecurity, right to farm, nutrient management and more

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)

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:

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


The professionals who provide guidance, reference, and strategy on zoning, design, legal applications, use of resources in communities, etc.