Are you one of the thousands of California farmers and ranchers who invite the public to your land to shop at your farm stand, pick their own fruit, taste wine, stay the night, learn a skill, enjoy a festival, or tour your operation?
It’s no secret that many family farms supplement their income by getting jobs off the farm or setting up agritourism programs. In fact, of the commercial farms that had positive farm income, only 77% of their total household income came from farm operations (USDA Economic Research Service).
As farmers and ranchers learn more about the diverse types of agritourism programs that fit their specific location, operation, assets or preferences, the U.S. continues to see an ongoing increase in the number and types of agritourism offerings for the general public. And, most importantly, we see an increase in the number and types of farms that are expanding their customer base and improving their bottom line.
Agritourism Lunchtime Webinars & Online Conversations
Starting May 19th, the UC Small Farm Program is hosting five, free practical webinars – designed especially for those with some type of agritourism program already set up. (Those who don’t yet have an agritourism program are still welcome! We suggest reviewing the FarmsReach Agritourism Toolkit resources first.)
Every two weeks, we’ll start with a live webinar sharing lessons about an important theme for successful agritourism programs (which will be immediately archived for convenient access). Between webinars, we’ll continue the conversation online in FarmsReach with the webinar presenters and other experts answering questions and moderating discussion so that anyone involved in California agritourism can easily share ideas, ask questions of others, and get help.
To follow the conversation online, join the new Agritourism Group in FarmsReach. Soon, all the presenters will be “on call” in the Group, ready to answer your questions before and after the webinars take place.
SCHEDULE – all webinars will be 11am-12pm PT:
- Thursday May 19 – The Strategy: Identifying, Reaching & Connecting with YOUR Agritourism Customers
Presenters: Kristen Skaggs and Anna Farrell, Farrell Design Group; Al Courchesne (Farmer Al), Frog Hollow Farm.
VIEW RECORDING & PRESENTATION FILES. VIEW ADDITIONAL Q&A.
- Thursday June 2 – The Invitation: Social Media, Online Booking & Website Success
Presenters: Kristin York, Sierra Business Council; Lauren Gagliano Saline, Suzie’s Farm.
VIEW RECORDING, PRESENTATION FILES & SHORT Q&A. VIEW ADDITIONAL Q&A.
- Thursday June 16 – The Rules: Navigating and Negotiating Permits and Regulations
Presenters: Karen Giovannini, UCCE Sonoma County; Tom Purciel, El Dorado County Planning Department.
VIEW RECORDING & PRESENTATION FILES. VIEW Q&A.
- Thursday June 30 – The Community: Powerful Promotions through Partners
Presenters: Tiffany Dozier, Yolo County Visitors Bureau; Evan Oakes, Ag Venture Tours & Consulting. VIEW RECORDING & PRESENTATION FILES.
- Thursday July 14 – The Delivery: Five-Star Customer Experience
Presenters: Scottie Jones, Farm Stay U.S.; Meghan Bishop, Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm. VIEW RECORDING & PRESENTATION FILES.
Join us! Webinar registration is required, but there is no charge for the webinars. After you register, you will be emailed the link to join the webinar.
If you are not able to join the webinars, you can email us your questions at any time to have the presenters answer them in the online Conversations. And, be sure to join the new CA Agritourism group to get notified when the archived webinars are posted!
Background & More Resources
The UC Small Farm Program has been working for more than fifteen years with UC Cooperative Extension advisors and others to develop resources and connections for California agritourism operators. Their popular Agritourism Intensive workshop series have been offered in eleven different counties. The UC agritourism website hosts useful factsheets and research. Their online agritourism directory and calendar helps visitors find farms and ranches to visit. And, their monthly California Agritourism newsletter helps share news and resources for the agritourism community.
Together, we hope to nurture the statewide agritourism conversation, and welcome your insights and questions!