Agri/Eco Tourism Workshop Scholarship agri-tourism-expo Visitors want to experience what we sometimes take for granted here in Nebraska – our wide open spaces, our beautiful dark skies, our rich farming and ranching heritage, our abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. Agritourism and Ecotourism are two of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry. Couple those with the emerging trend of “farm to table” culinary tourism and you’ve got a recipe for success for rural Nebraska.

You don’t have to own a working farm or ranch to participate in agritourism, and ecotourism doesn’t only mean a safari to a tropical rainforest. North Platte’s Dusty Trails has been making a living in the agri/ecotourism field for several years partnering with the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area offering tanking and tubing on the Platte River as well as horseback rides. Other examples of agri/ecotourism include a winery, brewery, or cheese making operation; opening up land to hiking, birdwatching, photography or stargazing; guiding local birdwatching excursions; Sandhill or canyon tours; rural winery/brewery/distillery tours; A restaurant that incorporates locally sourced produce; hunting; farm stays or tours. The possibilities truly are endless!

Each year the Nebraska Tourism Commission hosts the Nebraska Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop to help rural entrepreneurs learn how to get the most out of their land, gain the latest industry knowledge, hear fresh marketing ideas, find greater financial opportunities and network with potential partners. The 2017 conference is scheduled for February 21-23, 2017 at the One-Box Convention Center in Broken Bow.

The North Platte / Lincoln County Visitors Bureau believes strongly in the opportunities available in the area of agri/ecotourism for Lincoln County. As part of our commitment to continuing to help grow the rural tourism product offered in Lincoln County, we are offering two scholarships in the amount of $300 each to help defray the cost of Lincoln County entrepreneurs attending this workshop. Click here for 2017 Agri/Ecotourism Workshop Scholarship guidelines and application.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse T-shirt The Nebraska Sandhills were recently named the #4 spot in the nation for experiencing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse by GreatAmericanEclipse.com!

The skies of the great Nebraska Sandhills will be the perfect location to experience the 21 August, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Festival viewing sites are being planned in the communities of Tryon and Stapleton, where the umbral shadow will make almost a direct hit, experiencing two minutes and 34 seconds of totality. North Platte itself is in a good position to see a lot of the eclipse (a minute and forty seconds at 12:54pm CDT). Starting at about mile marker 152 (between Paxton and Village of Sutherland), the Interstate 80 will be in the path of totality all the way to Lincoln – a distance of 251 miles.

With a 74% probability of favorable viewing conditions, combined with big, dark skies, great western culture and hospitality to experience, and easily accessible highways, the Nebraska Sandhills should be your choice in 2017.

Find out more about experience the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse in the North Platte area by visiting our website http://2017nebraskaeclipse.com/