Diversification- it’s been a buzz word in agriculture for quite a few years now as farmers look to diversify their offerings and look for new revenue streams. Some farmers have taken to agritourism as a revenue stream, but Wisconsin dairy farmer Dan Wegmueller took it to the next level- an Airbnb on the farm.
“The thought immediately occurred to me in April of 2017 as we were cleaning out a farmhouse, 40 years’ worth of memories, cleaning out my parents’ legacy, going through all that. The family was there and we were left with the burning question of, ‘Well, what are we going to do with this space?’”
Wegmueller and his wife Ashley now allow guests to stay in the farmhouse and get a glimpse into what they do each day on the dairy farm.
He says the Airbnb has done two things for the farm. First, it brought in a revenue stream that was desperately needed to keep the farm running.
“Just the rental house alone is generating as much revenue, if not more, than you could expect to get from a full-time, off-farm job. But it also made it fun again. So much of the time, farmers are focused on what needs to be done, you get sucked into the day-to-day workload, but when you take a step back and you have the opportunity to see the farm through the eyes of others, it really does a lot to remind you of why you’re doing it the first place.”
Wegmueller’s advice for other farmers looking to do something similar is to, “go through the process. It’s a pain, it’s time consuming, and it’s nickels and dimes, but go through the process. Get properly certified, go through at the county level, township level, whatever local ordinances are in place.”“
He encourages farmers to be very forthright with county officials about what you’re looking to do and ask them what requirements need to be satisfied to go in that direction.
By the way, the Wegmuellers are Superhosts, what Airbnb calls highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for their guests. They have a 5-star rating.
Source: NAFB News Service