Agritourism Brings Boost for Augusta County

By  | 

While farm land may be vanishing in Virginia, in Augusta County, it's still increasing. Officials believe that agritourism may be bringing in a boost.

Weddings and horseback riding may seem unrelated, but their both a part of what's bonding tourism and agriculture in Augusta County.

Augusta County Board of Supervisors member Nancy Sorrells believes this is just the beginning for agritourism.

Sorrells says, "There's no doubt it's bringing in money but I just don't think it's reached it's full potential."

The money agritourism is bringing to the county may be worth just a little bit more.

"If I take a dollar and spend it in the community, that's just a dollar. But this community has to build roads that I use, has to build schools. But, if a visitor comes here and spends a dollar, it's really worth $5 because they go home," says Sorrells.

Del. Ben Cline (24th District) supports agritourism in Augusta County and is taking the message all the way to Richmond.

Cline says, "Agriculture is our top industry and in Augusta County, it's extremely important. So, we want to encourage all aspects of farming, including agritourism."

While agritourism is getting a lot of attention, Sorrells says if it's bringing in money, it's a good thing.

Sorrells says, "I think we need to explore all kinds of ways to bring money into our area and the money that would come in that has the least impact on our tax bases is good money. So, if we need to find ways to hype that up, I say go for it."

The Augusta County Board of Supervisors has delayed any decision about rezoning its exclusive agriculture district until its meeting in January 2010.

From 2002 until 2007, Augusta County farmland increased two percent.