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Agritourism: The next big thing?

By Mike Mangas
Published On: Jun 28 2013 08:13:30 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 28 2013 08:22:31 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

It's Tom Sawyer getting his friends to whitewash his fence all over again.

Tourism is a big part of the north state economy, and there is a new element emerging: agritourism.

The oldest destination marketing organization in the state, Redding-based Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, held its annual conference Friday at the Red Lion Inn. It was a chance to update members and potential members about what the organization has been doing, and is hoping to do.

One growing trend is agritourism: People want, and will pay, to get back to the land, and even do chores. That's not all of what agritourism is – it includes things like visiting wineries, and cheese tasting.

But the General Manager of the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, Laurie Baker, said people are more than willing to get their hands dirty, and they will pay to do it. Given the Northstate's agricultural industry, her organization plans to push agritourism in the coming year.