Master of Science in Rural Planning and Development thesis by Sarah Parish
The agricultural industry has a long-standing history as a successful cornerstone in Ontario. This historical prevalence stands true for the Regional Municipality of Durham’s three northern townships: Brock, Scugog, and Uxbridge. Agriculture is a driving force within the three township’s economies. Over the last three decades, agricultural production in Ontario’s rural townships have been negatively impacted by vertical integration, globalization, and the intensification of land-based activities. This research examines the role of agritourism as a solution to revitalizing the agricultural sector in north Durham region. This study utilized in-depth interviews with farm operators who have diversified their farming practices to understand these questions; the motivations to diversify farms through agritourism, how agritourism assists farming businesses, and strategies to implement agritourism into their current practices. This research is imperative to ensure farms are able to remain economically competitive against the pressures of urbanization and changing global markets.