Grab a Pitchfork!

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," January 1, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHERYL CASONE, "YOUR WORLD" GUEST HOST: All right, grab a pitchfork and head for the farm. Yes, the hot trend for the new year might just be farm vacations. Do chores, chop wood, and, if you're real lucky, skin a deer. Yes, but will city slickers go for this one?

Marge Lauer says, yes, they will. She's the CEO of Country Adventures.

Marge, quite an idea you got here. Quite a concept.



CASONE: So, where did you get — where did you get the idea from?


CASONE: Go ahead.

LAUER: Well, I happen to represent a farm and egg alliance of 450 farmers and ranchers in central United States. And they have a lot more assets and resources than just what grows in the field.

And they said, you know, we have got people that keep coming out here and asking if they could ride a combine and do other farm activities. We should capitalize on that and really connect the consumer to the country.

CASONE: Are you the first Web site and online travel site that has done this?

LAUER: We are unique as of yet, yes.

CASONE: All right.

So, let me ask you this. I read — and correct me if I am wrong here — that you got a small federal grant for your — for your travel Web site. I don't think I have ever heard of tax money for a — a travel Web site before. How did you score that?

LAUER: Well, it is actually because we are more than the Web site. We also offer services. So, we have a division that goes actually to a farmer or ranch and assists the farmer with identifying resources that they have that are marketable to the public.

People who are involved in agriculture are not in the travel and tourism business, so it is right from scratch: What can I — who would like to come here? How would I need to accommodate the public, et cetera?

And that's what the grant is going for, is to service them.

CASONE: All right.

Marge, last question. How do the farmers benefit from this? Because it is their farms that are being rented out, basically.

LAUER: It is revenue-generating. It certainly is.

I think a lot of people relate to the hunting and fishing that you can do in the country, but there is a lot more, with bird watching, stargazing, just a country picnic, that type of thing. Maybe a corporate retreat in a country farm home setting would be a great thing to do, get out of the rat race of the city for a while.

CASONE: Do you think that this is — do you think this is going to really catch on? I mean, why not just go to Hawaii or the Bahamas or something?


LAUER: You know, I — I can't say yet. We are a new company.

But, if you have heard the term experiential tourism — it's where people really want to experience something, rather than just see it — that is a growing trend in all the statistics you get from the cities and from the states and from even the national tourism department.

So, I think people, you know, they are two or three generations removed from the farm or from the country.

CASONE: Yes. Yes.

LAUER: And they don't have someone that they can connect to. So...

CASONE: Well...

LAUER: ... maybe for those that want to, this — they can do it.

CASONE: It's an idea. It's an idea.

Marge, we are out of time. Thank you so much. All right.

LAUER: Thank you.


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