0309SDStockgrowersAgritouri.cfm SD Stockgrowers agritourism business course graduates 30
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SD Stockgrowers agritourism business course graduates 30

South Dakota

Thirty individuals from across western South Dakota celebrated the completion of a five-week agritourism business planning course at South Dakota Stockgrowers Association office on March 8. Graduates of the course "Agritourism: Your next cash crop?" received certificates and announced the creation and expansion of 12 agritourism businesses.

Jan Jantzen, who facilitated the course, said, "[All] of the graduates have spent 20 hours in class, thinking about the type of experiences they can provide, how they want to package, price and market that experience, and how to do it in a way that makes sense for their ranching operations. They are as ready as they'll ever be to start their businesses, and I'm confident that we'll see great things from this group."

Bill and Cecilia Steen of Scenic attended the course to explore how they could expand their existing hunting business into a working-ranch vacation destination. "We know what we had on our ranch, and we knew what we needed for a business, but just didn't know how to start. This course put us over the first hill." Bill said, "Taking the class gave us the confidence to know that we can do this and helped us to develop our ideas into a business plan."

Twelve of the families attending the course announced new or expanding businesses ranging from trail rides and corporate retreats to chuck-wagon tours, dutch-oven cooking, working-ranch vacations, and hunting excursions.

"Stockgrowers is proud to have been able to offer this course to ranchers in South Dakota," said Margaret Nachtigall, executive director for Stockgrowers. "We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their businesses and look forward to seeing them succeed."

This course was supported by the South Dakota Community Foundation, the Clarkson Family Foundation, and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Additional agritourism courses will be offered in the fall of 2010 and throughout 2011. Please contact Silvia Christen at the SD Stockgrowers Association at 605-342-0429 for more information about enrolling.

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