Chapter 8 – Best Management Practices

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.

Read More Agritourism Best Management Practices 

Chapter Seven: On-Farm Events

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: Flack Family Farm Kimchi Workshop August 2013

Snapshot: Green Mountain Girls Chevre August 2013

Farm Tours and Tastings

Snapshot: Huntington River Vineyard

Field Trips


Snapshot: Sandiwood Farm-to-Fork Dinners


Chapter Six: Marketing


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. and 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

Chapter Five: Farm-Based Education

Goat visitors at Green Mountain Girls Farm

Goat visitors at Green Mountain Girls Farm


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: Educating for Sustainability in Early Childhood through Nature, Food and Community

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.

A Guide For Connecting Farms to Schools and Communities

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

Activities on science, gardening, nutrition and more - Life Lab

Animal Ethnogram: A Farm Observation Activity for All Ages – Shelburne Farms



Project Seasons: Hands on Activities for Discovering the Wonders of the World

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.

Chapter Four: Safety and Liability

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.19.15 PMAgritourism 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


View the Agritourism Onsite Safety Guide from the Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism Association

Food Safety and Good Agricultural Practices Resources from UVM Extenstion 

Farm Animals and Public Health from the Vermont Department of Health

 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

Agritourism Health and Safety Guidelines for Children

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

Chapter Three: Funding


Grants and Loans through the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative

Agritourism Loan Program through the Vermont Community Loan Fund, Inc

Grants from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture, Research & Education


Micro Loan Preparation and Farm Financial Education from UVM Extension

Crowdfunding Fact Sheet from UVM Extension 

Downloadable Overview of Funding Models from Farm and Countryside Education, United Kingdom

Development Resources from the Farm-Based Education Network

Chapter Two: Business Planning


Creating a Business Plan Fact Sheet from the University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farm Program

Developing a Mission Statement – Rutgers – Northeast SARE

Financial Management: Budgeting for Agritourism – Training Module from Rutgers – Northeast SARE

Business Plans: What Are They and How to Write One from University of Tennesee Extension

What is Your Competitive Advantage? blog post by UVM Extension

Sample Budget for a Corn Maze Enterprise – Rutgers – Northeast SARE


Get support in business planning and technical assistance  from the UVM Extension Farm Viability Program

Explore an online tool for financial planning from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension 

Learn more and apply for the Vermont Farm Viability Program