A twist on culinary tourism — which combines agriculture, specialty foods and tourism — will be featured in a session at next month’s annual Nebraska Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop in North Platte, Neb.

Culinary tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry, and this year’s Nebraska Tourism Commission workshop puts farm-to-table dinners in the center of the plate.

Chef Paul Kulik of the Boiler Room in Omaha and Krista Dittman of Branched Oak Farm near Raymond, Neb., will explain what it took to serve a four-course meal to 80 people in the middle of a Nebraska field. A second session will feature Erika Polmar of Oregon’s Plate & Pitchfork who has been hosting farm dinners for a decade.

As agritourism and ecotourism continue to grow in popularity, new niches are constantly developing, said Karen Kollars, a state agritourism development consultant based in Sidney, Neb.

Continuation of the craft beer craze may inspire landowners to consider growing hops. The owners of Rhynalds Hops in Prague, Neb., will tell their story and share the latest growing techniques.

Tammy Rowse of Burwell, Neb., will discuss what it takes to run a guest ranch. Her operation is recognized by the Dude Ranchers Association as a top ranch vacation destination and was selected as one of the 50 premier ranch vacations worldwide by Top50Ranches.com for the past two years.

Kollars said other sessions will explore community hunting events, trail projects, watchable wildlife and farmers markets, as well as ways to work with your spouse and stay married.

The workshop is scheduled for Feb. 5-6 at the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte. For more details or to register, go to VisitNebraska.com/industry.

Early registration is $75, until Jan. 25. After Jan. 25, registration is $90.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1127, david.hendee@owh.com

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