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Farming and Ranching

FR1.3

Coordinate Farm and Ranch Tourism Events

Contact the Flint Hills if you are interested in developing the next great regional farm and ranch event.

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Tool Information


Goals

  1. Tourism
  2. Celebrate Culture
  3. Family Farms and Ranches
  4. Local Food
  5. Conservation
  6. Amenities
  7. Marketing
  8. Jobs

Description

Coordinated tourism events are beneficial for individual farms and ranches and for the community and tourism within the region. Local and regional events can attract visitors, encourage repeat visitation and heighten regional awareness. They celebrate local treasures and build a cultural identity.  Establishing tourism events can also lead to increased development to support the event improving the overall economy.  

Photo by Dan Paluska, 2009

CC BY 2.0

Photo by Ruth Hartnup, 2014 CC BY 2.0

Background

Throughout the season there are many opportunities for regional events that can celebrate the seasons of the prairie, or the milestones in ranch life throughout the year.  Harvest time has traditionally been a time for celebration as communities come together to help each other bring in nature's bounty and to celebrate together that sense of accomplishment.  Festivals are still an important part of community life and increasingly urban dwellers seek out this sort of authentic experience that connects them to the season or celebrates that apples or blue berries are ready for their favorite pies...just in time for Thanksgiving.  When local communities organize and coordinate events to provide destinations, it will often bring an influx of people who want to support local farmers in exchange for an authentic experience.  In the Flint Hills we have the Prairie Chicken mating season and prairie fires to watch. The Symphony in the Flint Hills continues to sell out year after year. If neighboring communities coordinated events to support each other's events, either by staggering them or by combining them...there could be events in the Flint Hills all throughout the year.  And of course, marketing all these events calendars in one predictable place such as TravelKC.org is wise.  

Photos by Eustace Daugher, 2012

CC BY-SA 2.0

Additional Information

http://www.travelks.com/calendar-of-events/

Travel Kansas Coordinates and Event's Calendar

 

Implementation Strategy


Champions and Partners

Travel Kansas, Kansas Department of Toursim

Local Tourism Offices and Chambers of Commerce

State and County Fairs

Symphony in the Flint Hills

Flint Hills Shakespear Festival

Local Orchards and Ranchers with products for sale

Existing Event Coordinators

Timeframe

Short (1-3 years)

Cost

$

Cost Details

The cost of developing new events

A staff person to maintain a website calendar such as Travel KC

Funding Sources

Local business sponsors

Sales of goods at events

Chamber's of Commerce

Implementation Details

A brief outline of the first few steps necessary for implementation are provided. The steps outlined here are provided only as a suggested starting point and other approaches are certainly valid.

1.  First organize all the existing events on a calendar and search for synergies between communities

2.  Fill in gaps in the calendar to ensure that something is always happening and that it is as robust and developed as it can be to draw the most people or to ensure a quality one of a kind experience

3.  Plan for large crowds to ensure that living places are protected, that logistics run smoothly and to encourage alternative transportation and resource efficient events.  Plan events that include recycling and composting and leave the community clean and tidy when the event is over.  

4.  Celebrate by producing excellent photography, storytelling, video documentation to promote similar events in the future.  

Case Study


Weston, MO Applefest

http://westonmo.com/full_content.php?article_id=846&

Weston Missouri has for 26 years filled the small downtown of Weston Missouri with thousands of people from around the area.  Visitors park in spare lots miles away from the event and school buses are used to bus people into the heart of town.   Vendors sell food and crafts. Local musicians play all day.  Historical skill demonstrations are set up on every corner. The local orchards and petting zoo on the way into town sell out and have very little room to move in their gift shops.  There are parades and activities all weekend long.  The local bed and breakfast and restaurants are booked.  Local shops are open and people swarm them all day long.  It is a tremendously successful event.  It is almost too crowded to enjoy.  Those who don't like the crowds come back for apples and on other weekends.  The annual event serves as a reminder to come and visit.  

Image from: http://www.lincolnherald.net/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=28&ArticleID=3944

Photo from: http://www.neverstoptraveling.com/weston-missouri-the-cutest-town-ever-at-175

Relevance

This is a local agricultural centered event that draws thousands of visitors from the surrounding region and provides a significant boost to the local annual tourism economy.