Statewide agritourism concepts to be explored at upcoming UC conference – Secretary Ross scheduled to speak

The UC Small Farm Program and UC Cooperative Extension invite agritourism leaders, advisors, promoters and regulators from all over the state to strategize about building better support for California agritourism operators at a statewide agritourism summit to be held November 4 in Stockton.

While California agritourism has so far been primarily organized at the county and
regional levels, other states have organized statewide agritourism associations. At the November summit, experts will help participants explore the relationships and benefits involved in both statewide and local/regional agritourism programs. This gathering will help newer local agritourism associations build stronger connections with more experienced groups and with supportive agricultural, tourism and community development professionals throughout the state.

“We look forward to talking with other California agritourism organizers,” said Tim Neuharth, pear grower and founding member of the new Sacramento River-Delta Grown Agritourism Association. “People from Apple Hill, Sonoma County Farm Trails and Sacramento County Farm Bureau have been very kind in helping us set up our organization. We have big plans for our fledgling group of Sacramento River Delta growers.”

Scheduled speakers include CDFA secretary Karen Ross; Martha Glass, executive director of North Carolina’s highly successful Agritourism Networking Association; and representatives from the Apple Hill Growers Association.

The workshop will include regional breakout sessions for networking, discussion and
planning. Participants will also take away a tool kit of practical ideas, resources, social media tools and starter projects to organize agritourism associations in their own regions.

Conference registration is open now at http://ucanr.org/agtoursummit.2011.

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