Fifth Virginia Agritourism Conference to be held in Roanoke

virginia logoThe 2019 Virginia Agritourism Conference on April 3-4 will provide agritourism entrepreneurs with resources and ideas.

Agritourism accounts for $2.2 billion in economic activity in the state and brings people to Virginia farms for a diverse range of experiences, from apple picking and wine tasting to cutting the family Christmas tree.

The event at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center will feature interaction with experts on developing an agritourism business, celebrating its successes and managing its challenges. Agenda topics include delivering exceptional customer service, ensuring farm safety, and marketing collaboratively within a region.

Bettina Ring, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry, will be one of the featured speakers. Julia Clark, executive director of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability, will moderate a panel discussion with Dr. Dixie Dalton of Southside Community College and Seth and Courtney Umbarger of Laurel Springs Beef on “Building a Plan.” A discussion on “Making the Agritourism Voice Heard” will include Kyle Shreve, executive director of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and Andrew Smith, associate director of governmental relations for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Tours will be offered at Roanoke-area farms with agritourism operations.

For details and to register, visit

The conference is sponsored by Farm Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, VA FAIRS, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach Program, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

augusta free press


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.

augusta free press
augusta free press news