I don’t know why it is that people like cows so much, but they do. And there is an important tourism lesson in that.
|Stargardener had a great time |
meeting my cows.
Pam Mandel, Nerd’s Eye View, spent July in Austria amongst a dairy herd. Her conclusion? She likes cows, even when confronted with the realities of life and death. Read about her thoughts in Goodnight, Ladies.
I’ve been posting more pictures of my cows to my Twitter and Google+. They consistently draw interest and reactions. When I shared the struggle for life of a new baby calf, I was inundated with people interested in him. People still ask about him, six months later.
Something less than 2% of the US population is involved in production agriculture. Most people are 3-5 generations removed from the farm. That means fewer and fewer people grew up farming.
Translation: big opportunity for small towns.
Farming is different. Cows are interesting. Baby chicks are a marvel.
Visitors want to experience it, even for a little while. It’s different, and it’s fascinating.
Corollary: Stop trying to sell your small town like it’s a big city. Be who you are.
Small Town Tourism Action Item: Start planning your fall farm tour.
- Get four or five local farmers, orchards, ranchers, you-picks, what-have-you, to allow visitors on a special weekend this fall.
- Encourage them to plan special activities or fun that day.
- Put together a driving tour to the locations. Make a mobile friendly online version at Google Maps, and a printed paper one to hand out. Put the QR code and the short URL on the paper brochure.
- Talk to your local or regional CVB (if that’s not you). Ask them to help promote it.
- Pitch it to the nearest metro news.
- Do all the other things you know you need to do on an event.
- Report back. How did it go?
|Heading out for a pasture tour.|
And make sure the visitors get a chance to see some cows. Because people love cows.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.