On April 1, 2015

Agritourism opportunities abound; two-day Rutland conference opens doors

April 7-8 — RUTLAND — On April 7-8 farmers, agricultural service providers, educators and others interested in exploring agritourism opportunities are invited to attend a two-day conference in Rutland. The event features a full day of farm tours, a farm-to-table dinner, guest speakers, workshops and idea-sharing sessions.

The registration fee is $100, which covers the farm tours and dinner on April 7 at the Vermont Farmers Food Center and all sessions on April 8 at the Paramount Theater and Community College of Vermont. Attendees also may pay per event if unable to attend the full conference.

Pre-registration is no longer available, but walk-ins are welcome if space is available. The registration fee is $110 at the door.

The farm tours will introduce participants to several farms in the Rutland region that host visitors for tours, farm stays, educational programs, festivals, recreation, volunteer work days and direct sales. The day concludes with a farm-to-table dinner with locally sourced foods and a networking event.

On the second day keynote speaker Meg Southerland, a third generation farmer at Gardenworks Farm in Salem, N.Y., will talk about agritourism on a century-old family farm, which has a farm stand and hosts workshops, barn rentals for special events, dinner theater and other activities. In addition, workshops will be offered on all aspects of opening up a farm to the public—from assessing whether agritourism is the right decision for the farm, to planning for on-farm experiences, marketing, safety and liability, land use and other regulations; and the challenges of working with visitors.

For more info, visit www.uvm.edu/vtagritourism.

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