Agritainment & Agritourism Project Experience

Our agritainment and agritourism feasibility, design and consulting experience includes working with the follow farms:

Tuttle Orchards, Greenfield IN

Located in the eastern Indianapolis metro area, the Tuttle Orchard farm has been in the family since the late 1880s. Today it consists of a popular farm store (the original dairy barn built in 1885), u-pick orchard, cider making and fall agritainment activities. Tuttle Orchards is where Roy Tuttle developed and patented the Stark Supreme Staymen Winesap apple. Today the majority of Winesap apples grown in the U.S. are Tuttle's patented strain.

Over the years the business has grown to the point where it has outgrown the physical facility. White Hutchinson has been retained to develop a phased master expansion plan and economic feasibility that will in addition to handling the growing peak fall business, will also grow the business during the other parts of the year.

Muskogee, Oklahoma

White Hutchinson, working with its alliance partner The Chesapeake Group, was selected by the City of Muskogee Parks & Recreation Department to undertake a market and economic development feasibility study for expanded development on the 300-acre former Hatbox airfield property in Muskogee, OK. The study is examining new recreational, entertainment, agritainment, agritourism and other possible tourism facilities that will be synergistic with the Love-Hatbox Sports Complex and River Country Waterpark currently located on the property. Adaptive reuse of the airfield’s buildings is also being evaluated.

Hellerick's Family Farm, Doylestown, PA

After going through a three-year struggle to obtain a special use permit to continue their agritainment operation in the Buck's County area outside of Philiadelphia, we have been retained to design a 5-year master plan for the agritainment business' expansion that will include the addition of a permanent farm market and a children's discovery farm.

Farm Market & Apple Orchard, SE Nebraska

Assisted potential buyer of an existing farm store and apple orchard with evaluation of the existing business and its potential market and developed concepts on how to grow the business with experiential retail, a destination farm restaurant and agritainment activities.

Corn Dawgs, Loganville, Georgia

Assisting this new agritainment farm with feasibility and master planning for growth, including developing revenue streams for year round operation.

Richardson Farm Experience, Spring Grove, Illinois

In 2001, The Richardson Farm opened their first corn maze, which ended up being the world's largest. Since then, they have continued to retain the tradition of the world's largest maze, as well as grown their agritainment business for both fall and u-pick Christmas trees. Having outgrown their existing property, they are planning to relocate in several years to adjoining property that will include a large 40-acre lake. White Hutchinson assisted them with rebranding their entire 200-acre future complex as the Richardson Farm Experience and their fall maze and activities as Richardson Adventure Farm, general consulting on pricing, food and beverage and operations, and master planning their relocation to the new property.

Gary's Berries Fall Festival & FrightMare Farms, Grantville, Kansas

Assisted this agritainment farm with a market study, master planning for expansion, strategies to grow the business, traffic flow issues, improvements to food and beverage sales and profitability, admission pricing, staffing, uniforms and many other issues.

Center Grove Orchards, Cambridge, Iowa

Worked with the owners of this u-pick orchard, farm store and fall agritainment Farmyard area on improved customer traffic flows, new admission pricing formula, improved hay wagon ride route and loading, logisitics for check-out of u-pick pumpkins, added attractions, improved food and beverage sales and a general scheme for growth and expansion.

Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch - Liberty, Missouri

Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch in Liberty, Missouri operates a very successful school field trip and family fall festival on their 5,000-acre farm. We will be assisting them with an evaluation of their operations and facility and modifications to improve traffic flow, throughput, safety, increased food and beverage sales and the overall guest experience.

Westview Orchard & Cider Mill, Romeo, Michigan

Spanning 188 acres, Westview Orchards & Cider Mill is the result of 6 generations of family dedication. Dating back to 1813, Westview Orchards began as a small garden and orchard, established by Michael Bowerman shortly after his service in the War of 1812.

In 1981, the three women of Westview - Katherine and her daughters Abigail and Katrina (6th generation) took over operation of the farm and have developed it into a major Detroit area family agritainment destination, a place where old-fashioned values and fun are still part of the traditions. Many newspaper articles have referred to the women of Westview Orchards as the women of the 90's and now the new millennium - women succeeding in the predominantly man's world of farming. However, they are more than liberated women, displaying the spirit of their ancestors, those early pioneers whose determination and courage built the Westview Orchards to what it is today. (Learn more about Westview’s history)

Customers can stock up on homegrown fruits and vegetables from the farm market, sample fresh apple cider from the state-of-the-art cider mill, enjoy homemade confections in K's Kitchen Bakery, visit and pet the farm animals, challenge yourself in the 5-acre corn maze, feel like a kid again in the Kidz Korner, pick apples or pumpkins or sit back and enjoy a cozy wagon ride through the picturesque orchards.

Westview Farms retained White Hutchinson in the fall of 2006 to assist them with developing a master plan to accommodate their continued growth.

Walters’ Pumpkin Patch, Burns, Kansas

Worked with owners on designing new traffic flows, adjusting prices, and planning for expansion.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Rohn, PA

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm had its beginning in the late 1600s when the Ferree family immigrated to the United States. The original 1,000-acre family farm was subdivided a number of times among family members, with the existing 112-acre farm under the ownership of Cornelius Ferree, a well-known maker of Conestoga wagons. The farm became a stopover for early travelers heading west from Philadelphia to the Indian outpost in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They would stop at the farm to have their wagons repaired and to replenish their supplies.

The existing Cherry-Crest stone farmhouse and barn were built in 1774 using limestone from the property.

Jack and Donna Coleman are the current owners ofCherry Crest Adventure Farm. They purchased the farm in 1987. Up until 2003, it was primarily a dairy farm. However, the high cost of milk production and low wholesale price forced them to sell their dairy herd and switch their farm operations to raising dairy heifers and 250,000 chicken broilers a year for Tyson Foods.

The Colemans moved into agritainment (also called agri-tourism) to supplement their regular farm income in 1996 when they opened their first The Amazing Maize Maze. The first year's corn maze theme was a locomotive, in honor of the Strasburg Rail Road, America's oldest operating short-line railroad that runs right through the farm. The maze theme changes each year. This year's theme was "Giddy Up and Get Lost," featuring the Conestoga wagon.

Over the past nine years, the agritainment area has grown not only to include a 5-acre maze, but many additional family attractions including a petting zoo, hayrides and farm tours, U-pick pumpkins and popcorn, a giant hay chute slide, pumpkin sling-shots, rope logic maze, straw bale logic maze, hay bale tunnel maze, peddle go-karts, gift shop and a concession area. The entire agritainment area now encompasses 10 acres. The operating season is July 3 until Halloween, Oct. 31.

We will be working withCherry Crest Adventure Farmto develop a new master plan that expands the attractions, enhances per capita sales, and allows the owners to extend their season with a children's discovery play farm(sm) that can operate as an independent stand-alone attraction from spring into the fall. We will also be working on pricing issues, including food profitability.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm website.

Boone Hall Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina

Boone Hall Plantation dates from a series of land grants going back to from 1681 and was originally part of a plantation that covered over 17,000 acres (26 square miles). Many of its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Boone Hall Plantation is unique as it is the only remaining Low Country plantation that remains commercially productive. It has been continuously growing and producing crops for over 320 years and was once known for cotton and as the world's largest producer of pecans. Today it offers a Farm's Market and U-Pick fields filled with peaches, strawberries, tomatoes and pumpkins. Boone Hall Plantation has the only "slave street" still intact in the Southeast with nine brick slave cabins, circa 1790-1810.

Huge Spanish live oak trees, planted over 250 years ago, line the half-mile entrance to the plantation, which was the model for the grounds of Tara in Gone With the Wind. Boone Hall Plantation's cotton-gin house was used in the made-for-television movies North and South.

The private owners of Boone Hall Plantation have retained the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group to evaluate feasibility and recommend additional agritainment (agri-tourism) attractions, activities and programs that can be incorporated into its operating farm.

Boone Hall Plantation website.

Johnson's Corner Farm, Medford, New Jersey

One of our newer agritainment client is this Medford, New Jersey farm located in the eastern suburbs of Philadelphia. Johnson's Corner Farm currently includes a store featuring fresh farm produce, a bakery, country kitchen, and ice cream; greenhouses; a children's animal area and picnicking tents. The farm is a popular destination for school field trips and families for its hayrides to its wide variety of u-pick-it produce fields.

Johnson's has retained White Hutchinson to:

  • conduct a market feasibility study on adding children's edutainment events,
  • evaluate the entire business and recommend changes to even out monthly sales and improve revenues and profitability,
  • recommend management and operational improvements, and
  • develop a master plan for renovations and expansion.

Johnson’s Corner Farm website.

Johnson's Corner Farm
Johnson's Corner Farm

Brown's Berry Patch, Waterport, New York

In 2004, Brown's Berry Patch celebrated 200 years of growing fruit, fun and memories in Western New York. In 1804, Bathshua Brown settled her five sons and seven daughters along the Oak Orchard River that leads to Lake Ontario. Since then the family and farm history has included capturing a British officer during the War of 1812 and adapting to two centuries of agricultural changes. The farm operation has included apples, quince, and cherries for wholesale. At one time, the Brown's were said to have the largest quince orchard in the world. Learn more about the family and farm history.

In 1984 the family started a farm market called Brown's Berry Patch which has become a regional agritourism attraction. Visitors experience the farm by picking their own berries, apples, and pumpkins, shopping in the farm market and country gift shop, enjoying treats from their ice cream, deli and bakery shop, and watching their children play in the Barnyard Adventurse. Today, more than 50% of Brown's income is derived from the agritainment facilities.

WHLLG has been continuously working with Brown's since 1998 evaluating feasibility and assisting in the design and expansion of their admissions, farm-themed, children's play area named BarnYard Adventures. The area was designed to meet ADA accessibility requirements for adults and children and playground safety standards. Our work has also included working with Brown's on the development of their birthday party program, enhancements and improvements to the Farm Grill and ice cream shop and pricing strategies.

Brown’s Berry Patch website.

Johnson's Corner Farm
Brown's Berry Patch

Davis' Farmland, Sterling, Massachusetts

In 1994, the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group was retained by the Davis family in Sterling, Massachusetts to help them relocate and expand a small petting zoo they had started several years before on their dairy farm. We conducted a market feasibility study, including guest surveys that showed adequate demand for a major facility. We then worked with the Davis' to develop a master design plan for development of a "children's discovery farm" with an expanded mix of attractions targeted to families with toddlers to eight year-olds. The new facility was built across the road and named "Davis Farmland, a Family Farm Adventure." Every year since, the Davis' have retained us to visit and evaluate their operation and recommend improvements and added attractions. The facility, operation, and attendance have grown each year, with revenues almost quadrupling in the last three years. When Larry Davis was recently asked about our company's services, he said:

"Thanks again for your visit. Once again, unbelievably amazed at your prowess in this industry, your ability to always be on top of it, and the way you conform your knowledge to best suit your client and their facility."

On July 24, 2002, Davis' Farmland opened a new Adventure Play & Spray addition that includes North America's largest non-waterpark children's sprayground as part of a major $2.0 million expansion. The expansion was designed by White Hutchinson based upon market and economic feasibility studies conducted in early 2001.

Adventure Play & Spray features two spraypads, one for toddlers and one for children 3-8 years old. The spraypads cover approximately 8,000 square feet and feature every kind of water spray and play imaginable, from ground bubblers and misters to a pretend car wash, to water trays and even a water tower geyser. Other areas of the Adventure Play & Spray addition have children's dry play including:

  • boulder and log climbing,
  • a prehistoric dinosaur dig with immersion bamboo landscaping,
  • woven huts in a grasslands,
  • 'Moo Works'--a sand play piece of equipment themed to look like a Guernsey cow,
  • a 2-D maze,
  • climbing equipment for toddlers, 2-5's and 5-8's and
  • a pedal go-kart track through a pine forest.

The Adventure Play & Spray area also includes a new 3,500 square foot guest service building with the Udder Herd Rock Calfé, restrooms, family restrooms and family changing/shower rooms.

Other parts of the renovation and expansion to Farmland included a new enclosed admissions area, a new management office and a new state-of-the art admissions, inventory, financial and management information system. WHLLG designed all the improvements and assisted Farmland with setting up a new management structure, management systems, policies and procedures and pricing.

FamilyFun magazine's FamilyFun Vacation Guide: New England, published by Disney Publishing Worldwide, rated Davis' Farmland as a must-see destination for families.Farmland was awarded the Editor's Pick for Kids three consecutive years by The Yankee Magazine Travel Guide to New England, a family favorite by the Boston Parent's Paper and Landmark and best day trip for children by the Rhode Island Parent's Paper. You can check out Davis' Farmland at www.davisfarmland.com.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch, Gretna, Nebraska

Vala's is considered one of North American's most successful Halloween agritainment attractions. Each fall, over just a five-week period, hundreds of thousands of customers come to enjoy over 40 fun activities, food and retail stands and show venues.

Vala's has retained the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group for overall evaluation and assistance with master planning.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch website.

Great Country Farms, Bluemont, Virginia

Analyzed market, adjusted admission pricing concepts, developed new traffic flows for customers, parking, hay wagon loading and travel path, and reviewed areas and activities for growth.

Belvedere Plantation, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Belvedere is a 245 year-old farm of approximately 1000 acres. The Fulks family purchased the property in 1968 and took it from conventional farming to:

  • sustainable biological/organic farming with grain crops including corn, wheat and soybeans, and
  • agritainment and direct marketing including pick-your-own and ready-picked, a Spring home and garden festival, The Great Pumpkin Patch, educational programs for school children, The Great Adventure Maze and a wide variety of group events & outings.

Belvedere Plantation has retained the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group to assist them with expansion programs and layouts and long term planning.

Belvedere Plantation website.

Lyman Orchards, Middlefield, Connecticut

This ninth-generation, 1000-acre, 35,000 tree orchard includes 2 18-hole professional golf courses; the Apple Barrel Market, home of the Hi-Top Apple Pie, voted Connecticut's best; a corn maze, the Homestead and a vast variety of pick-your-own fruits. White Hutchinson is working with Lyman Orchards on developing a new branding market strategy and positioning and preparation of a master plan to expand their facility to include children's agritainment attractions, an expansion of the Apple Barrel Market to include a Hi-Top Apple Pie 'brand museum' pie factory, enhancements for group business and enhancing the value of all experiences by telling the story of their brand.

Lyman Orchards website.

Jonamac Orchard, Malta, Illinois

Assisting this 23-year-old orchard, farm store, pick-your-own and fall festival agritainment facility with strategic planning to become less dependent on orchard produce and generate more income from agritainment attractions.

Jonamac Orchard website.

Mother Nature's Farm, Gilbert, Arizonia

This 45-acre farm has become completely surrounded by development in the town of Gilbert, a southeast suburban area of Phoenix, Arizona. Having outgrown its existing facilities, Mother Nature’s Farm retained the White Hutchinson in the summer of 2006 to develop a feasibility study and new master plan that includes a children’s discovery farm, a farm restaurant, a farm market and seasonal/harvest festival event area and to process a special use zoning approval with the town of Gilbert for the new development plan.

Mother Nature’s Farm website.

Design for Success for the Family Market

Randy White's February 12, 2005 presentation to the North American Farmer's Direct Market Association's Conference in Boston. Click here to download presentation as PDF file.

Defining Agritainment as the 4th Level of Economc Value