City folks say hello to your rural neighbors

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

VALE – Agritourism might be the next big incentive to attract people and dollars to Malheur County, some officials say.

Janet Dodson, a consultant for the Eastern Oregon Visitors Association, points to successful agritourism in other parts of Oregon such as Hood River as an example of how the concept can work.

Dodson, an agritourism development specialist, is working with counties in the region to entice visitors to local farms and ranches.

“Agritourism has been around a long time and it is not a term a lot of people are familiar with,” Dodson said.

The idea is to attract outside visitors to a local farms or ranches, where they can see how agriculture producers work and live. They also can buy newly harvested products.

Efforts could include tours, farm stands, farmers markets, horseback riding, visit to wineries, orchards and gardens, and petting zoos.

“It . . .