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U-Pick Farms: Harvesting More than Pumpkins

Sara Brune, Whitney Knollenberg, Kathryn T. Stevenson, Carla Barbieri


Recreational experiences offer many benefits to individuals and society, including improved mental and physical health. Yet, limited evidence is available on the potential benefits of recreation as a path to stimulate desired behavioral outcomes. The purpose of this work is to discuss preliminary findings of whether participating in agritourism influences intended local foods purchasing behavior. To achieve this purpose, we surveyed 173 recreationists before and after visiting a farm offering recreational activities (agritourism) in 2018. Results of repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance indicate that agritourism influenced participants’ attitudes and intended behavior toward local foods although subjective norms and perceived behavioral control remained unchanged. However, the regression analysis indicated that changes in subjective norms and perceived behavioral control predicted changes in intended behavior. We conclude that agritourism can encourage consumers’ purchasing intentions of local foods, supporting an underexplored additional benefit of recreational experiences as a path to promote desirable behaviors. Further, agritourism experiences may be most effective at encouraging local foods purchasing when they show that buying local foods is socially supported and relatively easy. 

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Agritourism; consumer behavior; local food; theory of planned behavior

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