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2.4 million agri-tourists visit California farms in '08.

The University of California (UC) Small Farm Center says California farmers and ranchers hosted more than 2.4 million agricultural tourists in 2008, based on results from California's first statewide economic survey of agri-tourism operators. A number of cooperatives of farms and ranches have been formed nationally to promote agri-tourism.

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The survey's preliminary findings suggest agri-tourism can indeed be a profitable supplement to a farm or ranch business. Agricultural tourism allows travelers a chance to visit working farms and ranches and can include experiences such as picking their own fruit, visiting a petting zoo, touring a vineyard, buying fresh produce or riding horses.

Small farms made up more than two-thirds of the farms that reported offering agri-tourism. The survey was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of California Cooperative Extension and the UC Small Farm Program, with funding from the California Communities Program.
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Title Annotation:Newsline: Co-op developments, coast to coast
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Nov 1, 2009
Words:148
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