Best Management Practices for an agritourism business include: 1) providing an authentic farm or ranch experience, 2) providing an educational experience, 3) providing excellent customer service, 4) providing adequate public facilities, 5) maintaining a safe and accessible environment, 6) creating good community relations, and 7) planning for your financial future.
The sky is the limit when it comes to on-farm events, and there are exciting models throughout Vermont. Browse the resources below to get ideas, and if you have an idea you’d like to add to the list, let us know!
On Farm Classes and Workshops
Snapshot: Grand View Farm Workshop July
Snapshot: Green Mountain Girls Chevre August 2013
Farm Tours and Tastings
Snapshot: Huntington River Vineyard
Snapshot: Sandiwood Farm-to-Fork Dinners
Marketing Your Enterprise – Key Points from University of California Cooperative Extension
Marketing 101 for your Agritourism Business – Rutgers – Northeast SARE
The Four P’s of Marketing – from University of California Cooperative Extension
Tips for Building Marketing and Community Partnerships – from University of California Cooperative Extension
Marketing Your Agritourism Enterprise – Chapter Six in ‘Getting Started in Agritourism’ from Cornell
Marketing Agritourism While Providing Quality Service – Training Module by Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Creating a Social Media Strategy – From Good Egg Marketing
Marketing Your Farm to Schools - Video from Farm and Countryside Education
What Makes Your Farm Unique? How to Identify and Effectively Promote Your Attributes – Powerpoint presentation by Pam Knights Communications
Dig In Vermont - DigInVT is your portal to Vermont’s agriculture and culinary experiences that are open to the public.
Rural Bounty - a site to share the rich bounty of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, outdoor activities, and family fun that our rural countryside has to offer.
Localvore Today - a locally owned and operated marketing service for local businesses featuring no out-of-pocket cost to clients. In addition to emailing their extensive list of followers about your business, they will promote your offer in their social media campaigns.
Eatwith.com, eatfeastly.com and bookalokal.com are online sites that connect travelers looking for authentic dining options with hosts who offer meals in their homes. If your farm offers meals more than one time per month, a food service establishment license is necessary for operation. Consider partnering with these sites to promote your unique dining experiences. It is also important to remember to collect meals tax from your diners.
Do you offer
Social Media and Tech Learning Opportunities
Girl Develop It – Burlington Based Classes for Women looking to Learn Simple Software Development
Farm-Based Education Network for resources and referrals
Edible Schoolyard Project for curricula and activities
Shelburne Farms Newsletter List to receive notifications about upcoming farmer-educator trainings
Farm to Community Mentors - NOFA Vermont coordinates the Farm-to-Community Mentor Program. Each county is assigned a mentor, who helps connect farms and farm-based educators with schools and the broader community. Learn who your mentor is and connect with her today!
Cultivating Joy and Wonder brings Education for Sustainability into your early childhood classroom through engaging activities, essays, and resources that encourage children to explore and engage in the world around them. The book is the fruit of Shelburne Farms’ years of experience in early childhood education and sustainability, both on the Farm and with our partners at the Sustainability Academy and King Street Center in Burlington, Vermont.
Designed to help farmers, teachers, and others interested in how to use farms for education, and connect them to the community. Includes strategies to market local food to schools, and 45 hand-on, farm-based, educational activities.
Teaching Tips How to Promote Active Learning, Activity Ideas and Hints for Making an Effective Presentation from Farming and Countryside Education
A bibliography of farm-based education books and activities – Shelburne Farms
Animal Ethnogram: A Farm Observation Activity for All Ages – Shelburne Farms
Developed at Shelburne Farms, Project Seasons is a collection of hands-on education activities for discovering the wonders of the world. It is invaluable in cultivating an awareness and appreciation of agriculture and natural resources.
Agritourism enterprises offer farmers opportunities to diversify and increase their income. Opening the farm to these new opportunities, however, also introduces new risks and legal obligations that should not be ignored. It is important that the safety risks be identified and properly managed in order to minimize the potential for injuries, illnesses and resulting financial losses. – Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Agritourism Onsite Safety Guide
Farm Safety and Risk Assessment
Managing Safety and Risk – Training Module from Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Farm Safety Checklist – Vermont Food Education Every Day (see page 21 of their downloadable guide)
Agritourism Animal Safety Assessment Checklist - Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Farm Building Safety Checklist - UVM Extension
Your Farm’s First Aid Kit from Iowa State Extension
Agritourism Operation Food Safety Checklist – Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Agritourism General Farm Safety Assessment Checklist – Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Emergency Response and Legal Liability Checklist - Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Agritourism Liability – Training Module from Rutgers – Northeast SARE
10 Ways to Limit Liability from Colorado Agency of Agriculture
Managing Liability – Virginia Cooperative Extension
Types of Risk: Assessment and Management from Colorado Agency of Agriculture
Parking, Walkways, Lighting, Biosecurity, Medical Emergencies and more - Louisiana State University Ag Center’s Best Management Practices Manual
Risk Assessment and Management and Safety Concerns – University of Tennessee Extension
Agritourism Liability and Questions to Clarify With Your Insurer – Chapter 5 of Getting Started in Agritourism from Cornell Cooperative Extension
Agritourism Emergency Response & Liability Assessment Checklist - Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Farm Accident/Incident Report Form [Sample] - Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Incident Report Form [Sample] – Shelburne Farms
Agritourism Parking and Traffic Assessment Checklist – Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Printable Signs and Information for the Public - National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
Legal Issues with On-Farm Events Webinar - Farm Commons
Managing Risk on Your Agritourism Farm: A Farmer’s Perspective - Rutgers – Northeast SARE video
Hayride Safety – Rutgers – Northeast SARE video
General Farm Safety – Rutgers – Northeast SARE video
A list of insurers with experience in Vermont agritourism.
Tom Pyle, Durkee Insurance, Fair Haven
Roy Folsom, Nationwide Agribusiness
Co-Operative Insurance Companies, Middlebury
Development Resources from the Farm-Based Education Network
Developing a Mission Statement – Rutgers – Northeast SARE
Financial Management: Budgeting for Agritourism – Training Module from Rutgers – Northeast SARE
What is Your Competitive Advantage? blog post by UVM Extension
Sample Budget for a Corn Maze Enterprise – Rutgers – Northeast SARE