Agritourism conference helps important farm sector

virginiaWhether it’s selling pumpkins at a roadside stand or hosting weddings in a winery, agritourism is a $2.2 billion business in Virginia. Agritourism operators have the opportunity to attend the 2018 Virginia Agritourism Conference March 21-22 at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Participants will learn from experts how to grow or improve their agritourism businesses.

“Expanding a farm operation to include an agritourism enterprise requires having a plan that will make you money; working with local government; building relationships with neighbors and communities; and designing an experience that’s inviting to the visitor,” explained Dr. Martha Walker, community viability specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

The two-day agenda includes workshops on land conservation, financing and loans, insurance, education opportunities, equestrian operations and developing an on-farm experience that brings customers back year after year. Also planned are farm visits and opportunities to meet state and local officials and agency heads.

Sponsors include Virginia Farm Bureau, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Registration is $145 for one day and $175 for both days. To register, visit vafb.swoogo.com/agritourism2018/80275 or call Walker at 434-766-6761.

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