Agritourism is itself a growing industry in New York and with Genesee County being a major contributor to the state's agriculture industry, Genesee Community College hosted a free agritourism symposium yesterday.
The event was organized by Amy Slusser, professor of GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Program.
“Our region of New York State offers some of the best agritourism opportunities in the nation,” Slusser said. “From our dairies for cheese and yogurt, while not forgetting milk, butter and of course, ice cream, to the many acres of fruits and vegetables. And, New York wineries are now competing with great success against both European and Californian varietals. Now is the time for agritourism in the Upstate New York.”
Sophie Winter, Ph.D., was the keynote speaker with a theme of “Evolution, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agritourism.” A native of Southern France, Winter earned her master’s degree in Agricultural Business from Illinois State University and her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State University. Currently, she teaches agricultural marketing, sales, retail management and entrepreneurship at SUNY Cobleskill.
There was also a panel discussion with:
- Barbara Dominesey, general manager of Hidden Valley Animal Adventures in Varysburg;
- Chad Heeb, director of marketing of New York Chips and Marquart Farms in Gainesville; and
- Betty Burley, owner of East Hill Creamery in Perry.
Photos courtesy GCC.