Frequently Asked Questions

  • Starting a New Farm Stay

    • I'm thinking of adding a farm stay. Where do I start?

    • Start by looking at our list of 10 questions under Starting a Farm Stay This should give you a good idea of the questions to ask yourself and your family before jumping into an endeavor such as this.

      back to top
    • What kind of accommodations are expected for a farm stay?

    • You can offer anything from camping to a 5-star guest house.  What suits your farm? What will your customer expect for the price you charge? Are you shooting for rustic, glamping, cozy, high-end?  Your guests will self-select by what you offer.  Nonetheless, whatever you offer, it needs to be clean and safe!

      back to top
    • What do guests expect from a farm or ranch vacation?

    • This varies with why they wish to stay with you.  Guests with children often hope to watch or partake in chores.  Couples often forego the chores for a relaxed afternoon on the deck with a good book and a glass of wine.  Are they there for the cattle drive?  Are they there to decide whether this is the lifestyle for them?  Are they there to re-connect with their family in a true vacation style?  It could be any or all of these and they will probably tell you!  If not, ask...so expectations are met.

      back to top
    • Where can I find a farm stay mentor to help answer my questions?

    • We would suggest you look for a farm or ranch already running a successful business in your state and ask for some help.  As we begin to form into more of an organized association, we hope to have a group of mentor farms with the time and energy to provide advice.  We ourselves are experienced farm stay operators and are more than happy to answer your questions if we can.

      back to top
  • Farm Stay Business Questions

    • What's the best way to handle reservations?

    • This depends on the size of your operation, the sophistication of your Internet connection, and the number of nights you book or expect to book.  If you are just starting out, email and/or phone calls may suffice, but there are many more options that we will be talking about in Farm Stay 101 (when it is completed - Winter 2012?).

      back to top
    • Is there a common demographic for farm stay guests?

    • We have found that our guests tend to be curious about what we do, friendly, not that experienced with country life, and interested in experiencing something totally different than their normal routine.  Some seek only a retreat from city life while others want to learn about our food systems or feel like a cowboy.  It really depends on how you market your farm or ranch opportunities since guests will self-select based on interests.

      back to top
    • What do I need to know about allowing children?

    • We have discovered that most accidents happen within the first 30 minutes of a family's arrival on the property.  Our suggestion is to take families on a tour to point out all the places where kids are and are not allowed and areas that may be hazardous, like hay chutes, creeks and ponds, corrals. Wood stoves to heat should have child barriers, cleaning chemicals should be secured out of reach, and prized possession probably have no place in a guest room anyway.

      back to top
    • Do I need to offer breakfast?

    • No.  Some locations offer a kitchen, but the guests have to bring their own food.  Some farms supply the ingredients for breakfast, however, the guests still make the meal.  This gets around the laws for food handling and commercial kitchens.  States like California actually provide an exemption for cooking breakfast.  Do whatever works best for your circumstances.  Your guests will make their own decision based on what they are looking for.

      back to top
    • Do I need my own website?

    • Actually, you don't, although you may want to upgrade to a premium listing. We feel we have given your guests most of the information they need to contact you for more information or to book a stay.  That said, it is never bad to have your own website because this will give you multiple channels to market your business.

      back to top
    • Face Book. Twitter. Do I need these?

    • Face Book fan pages are free and drive traffic to your farm or ranch.  This gives you another place on the web to tell your story and to show photos.  Twitter has a much shorter focus and life on the web.  If you have to choose between Twitter and FaceBook, go with FaceBook until you find your guests are all communicating via Twitter!

       

      back to top
  • Your Farm Stay and FarmStayUS.com

    • Why am I listed on this site?

    • If you did not sign up, this means we found you on a Google search and added your farm or ranch as one of our partners because you fit our criteria.  You should have received an email from us with an introduction and your login information.

      If you are no longer in operation or would prefer not to be listed on the Farm Stay U.S. site, please let us know and we will immediately remove your information.

      back to top
    • What do I do if there are mistakes on my listing?

    • Your listing is yours and you should have a Username and Password  Click Login at the top right of the Home page and enter this information. Click on Manage Your Farm. Scroll down to your farm listing and click on Edit.  Make any changes you wish, as often as you wish.

      back to top
    • Do I have to meet certain criteria to list my farm or ranch?

    • Yes.  We ask that you fit our definition of a working farm or ranch. What we mean by this is that you sell your livestock and/or produce for income or you are a sustainable operation producing for your own use.   We also allow non-profit teaching farms that provide accommodations.  If you have a question, please feel free to contact us!

      back to top
    • I meet the criteria for Farm Stay U.S. How do I sign up?

    • Click on the 'Farmer Sign Up' on the top right corner of the Home page of the site.  Fill in the fields requested which include a Username and Password. Write these down somewhere in case you forget.  There is a password recovery but not one for username so we suggest using your email as your username.

       

      back to top
    • How do I enter my farm listing now that I have signed up with Farm Stay U.S.?

    • Log in (if you have just signed up you will already be logged in).

      - Go to Manage My Farm.

      -Click on Enter a New Farm.

      -Click on each tab and follow the Hints on the right side of the page to fill in the information correctly.

      You can go through every tab, including Photos and Accommodations, but once you exit, you will need to wait until Farm Stay U.S. approves your listing (spam filter).

       

      back to top
    • How long will it take before my listing is live on Farm Stay U.S.?

    • It usually takes us less than 24 hours to approve you. Once you get a message from us, you can Edit your listing at any time.  We will make you live on the site as soon as you let us know you are ready or if it looks as if you already have enough information and photos to present well to the public.

      back to top
    • How will guests find my listing on the Farm Stay U.S. site?

    • Most searches start with the state, unless guests know the name of your property.  With Find a Farm, even one word from your name will give a list with every farm and ranch that also has that word.  Maybe you will come up on a search that contains a town name, or maybe an activity that you offer.  There are a many ways to be found on Farm Stay U.S. Every category is searchable (or will be in the near future!)

      back to top
    • How do some farms list at the top of Searches?

    • Our Premium listed farms will always float to the top of a Search.  The system defaults to an alphabetical ranking after that.  Premium listed farms will also default alphabetically.

      back to top
    • How do I become a Featured Farm on the Home page?

    • To become a Featured Farm, you need to sign up for the Gold  Membership.  This will not only put you on the Home page for a minimum of a week, but will also give you many other benefits. You can find a description of what you get by looking in the Footer of the website under Pricing for Farmstay Owners.

      back to top
    • How do I get more photos on my listing?

    • Similar to the Featured Farm status, you get more photos if you sign up for the Silver (8) or Gold (20) Membership.  Your listing will show the extra photos under the Photos tab. We can tell you that photos sell a property!

      back to top
    • I can't get my photos to upload. What do I do?

    • Photos need to be less than 1 MB in size.  If yours are larger, you will need to resize them otherwise you will get an error message.  If you don't know how to do this, please forward them on to us and we will resize them for you and add them to your listing.

      back to top
    • How much does membership cost?

    • We are farmers promoting farmers. We feel that by banding together as farm stays, we help brand this new travel niche for Americans and make ourselves a recognized destination vacation model. Please look through our membership benefits and join us at a level that works for you!

      Premium Listing Gold: $360/year*

      +Featured farm/ranch and links on Farm Stay U.S. Homepage (minimum of one week
      +Featured blog article
      +Gold highlights in Search results
      +Listed first in all Search results
      +Featured in Regional Guide
      +Included in all Search criteria (Basic, Advanced, Map)
      +All tabs display (Description, Units/Pricing, Photos, Map, Contact, Guestbook, Amenities, Activities, Allowed, Food, Guestbook)
      +20 photos
      +Hotlink to calendar/booking tools (ask us how)
      +Promotion of your farm, ranch, or vineyard stay to appropriate media inquiries

      Premium Listing Silver: $240/year*

      +Silver highlights in Search results
      +Listed before Bronze and Basic Listings in Search results
      +Featured in Regional Guide
      +Included in all Search criteria (Basic, Advanced, Map)
      +All tabs display (Description, Units/Pricing, Photos, Map, Contact, Guestbook, Amenities, Activities, Allowed, Food, Guestbook)
      +8 photos
      +Hotlink to calendar/booking tools (ask us how)
      +Promotion of your farm, ranch, or vineyard stay to appropriate media inquiries

      Premium Listing Bronze: $120/year*

      +Included in all Search criteria (Basic, Advanced, Map)
      +All tabs display (Description, Units/Pricing, Photos, Map, Contact, +Guestbook, Amenities, Activities, Allowed, Food, Guestbook)
      +3 photos
      +Hotlink to calendar/booking tools (ask us how)
      +Promotion of your farm, ranch, or vineyard stay to appropriate media inquiries

      *Satisfaction Guaranteed!*

      back to top

Quick Farm Finder

State:
Capacity:

Farm/Ranch Stay Maps