Markets - Agritourism
Agricultural Tourism Highway Signs Program
NCDA&CS Agritourism Office Manager
Purpose of Program
The purpose of the Agricultural Tourism Highway Signs Program (“Program”) is to direct visitors and tourists to agricultural venues that are open to the public for tours and on-site sales or samples of North Carolina agricultural products. The program is authorized by NC General Statute 106-22.5, and is a collaborative effort of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT).
Minimum Requirements and Cost Estimates
See “Practices” in the DOT link. Businesses eligible for the highway signs must be open to the public a minimum of ten (10) months per year, four (4) days per week for a minimum of 32 business hours. Estimates of costs of signs are found at “Designs” in the DOT link.
See “Application” in the DOT link. Initial requests for information and applications for the Program are handled by the NCDA&CS Agritourism Office. When the application is received by the Agritourism Office, it is reviewed for completeness. If incomplete, the Agritourism Office manager will contact the venue to request the additional information needed. When the application is complete, a site visit is scheduled to inspect the facility and verify all application criteria are met. After the visit, a letter is sent by the Agritourism Office manager to the DOT Signage Office recommending that the request for signage proceed.
After the recommendation is made to the DOT that the signage request proceed, the process is assumed by the DOT to completion. The DOT schedules further interaction with the venue. Requests for information and clarification by the venue owner are handled by the Agritourism Office during the application process. After the application is received by DOT, any requests for information are handled either by DOT district staff (see “Practice” and “Maps” in the DOT link). If contact with the DOT Signage Office is necessary, the Agritourism Office or the DOT district staff offices can supply the contact information.