Examining the Economic Benefits of Agritourism: The Case of New Jersey


  • Brian J. Schilling Rutgers University
  • Kevin P. Sullivan Rutgers University
  • Stephen J. Komar Rutgers University




Agritourism, Deferred Economic Benefits, Economic Impact, Multifunctionality, Nonmonetary Benefits


Many small American farms struggle to remain economically viable due to a confluence of global market dynamics, rising costs, and urbanization pressure. Agritourism is an increasingly popular form of alternative agriculture enterprise development designed to expand farm income, generally through fuller employment of existing farm resources. The economic significance of agritourism within the farm community, however, is not well understood. Existing literature is inconclusive about the importance of agritourism as a component of farm income. This paper examines the economic benefits of agritourism, using data from a statewide economic impact assessment in New Jersey. Results show broad variability across farm scales in terms of the relative reliance on agritourism as a source of farm revenue. A significant percentage of farms hosting agritourism were found to earn no immediate income from such activities, suggesting that some farmers may be motivated by either nonmonetary or deferred economic benefits from hosting agritourism.


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Author Biographies

Brian J. Schilling, Rutgers University

Assistant Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics and Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Rutgers University; Cook Office Building, 55 Dudley Road; New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901 USA; +1-848-932-9127.

Kevin P. Sullivan, Rutgers University

New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University; Administrative Services Building III, 3 Rutgers Plaza; New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901 USA.

Stephen J. Komar, Rutgers University

Department of Agricultural and Resource Management Agents, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Sussex County, Rutgers University; 129 Morris Turnpike; Newton, New Jersey 07860 USA.



How to Cite

Schilling, B. J., Sullivan, K. P., & Komar, S. J. (2012). Examining the Economic Benefits of Agritourism: The Case of New Jersey. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 3(1), 199–214. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.031.011