California Agritourism News July 2020
News and notes for the agritourism community from UC SAREP

Thank you for all you're doing . We hope you and yours are staying safe and well.

In this newsletter:

Please stay in touch; share your stories or news or thoughts for the next issue.

Penny Leff
Agritourism Coordinator
UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
UC SAREP's current agritourism work
Help plan "Agritourism Intensive" classes in Mendocino & SLO Co.?
With funding from Western Extension Risk Management Education, UC SAREP will work with local agriculture, tourism, community and agritourism organizations in Mendocino and San Luis Obispo Counties to plan " Agritourism Intensive " classes for farmers and ranchers, with classes to be offered in Winter 2020-21.

For years, Agritourism Intensive has meant three full-day learning and networking sessions in each region, including small-group sharing, eating lunch together and learning from local experienced agritourism operators, county planning staff and local tourism, business and marketing experts in person. This year may be different. We will plan together what format will work best for each region, whether it is online, in person, or a mix.

We invite anyone involved in agritourism in Mendocino or SLO County to join us as advisors in this planning venture. We may meet in person to plan, or we may start with zoom meetings. Please contact Penny Leff, or reply to this email if you would like to help or learn more.

COVID-19 Agritourism Resources on UC CA Agritourism website
For your easy reference, we have gathered together a full page of COVID-19 resources and practical guidance for agritourism operators, including comprehensive website links, guidance for various specific agritourism activities, shared experiences and lessons learned, and helpful marketing and communications resources.
FREE LISTING AND EVENT PROMOTION (online virtual events welcome)

We invite California farmers and ranchers operating agritourism businesses or events to complete the  directory application  or event listing form  online.

Already listed? Please check your listing and send us any changes using the update form .

Or - just add  to your email blast list to share your event news - we'll grab what we can for the calendar.

Planning for Fall? - updates from around CA
From Wayne Bishop, Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm, Wheatland, Yuba County:
It’s a different kind of year isn’t it?
Our fall agritourism season provides the bulk of our annual income, so we are very anxious about how it will turn out. We do feel fortunate to be in Yuba County, where there has been a low rate of infection and where our local government has taken a leadership role in getting businesses opened up. We have cultivated relationships ... read more

From Karen Macedo, RAM Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, Turlock, Stanislaus County:
We are moving forward, planting pumpkins in the same amount as last year. We’re also planting our 20-acre corn maze. Most years we get up to 1000 people in the maze on Friday and Saturday evenings. This year... read more

From Glenn Tanaka, Tanaka Farms, Irvine, Orange County:
Tanaka Farms, I am embarrassed to say, is doing well. Even though our farm tours and U-pick was shut down for two and a half months, our drive thru produce stand and CSA has made up the difference. Once people started to get out more and go back to work, our produce sales have slowed but... read more

From Ron Kelley, R. Kelley Farms, Sacramento River Delta:
We have cancelled all tours and group events. We are still opening our farm stand and U-Pick fields this July, with extra caution... read more

From Deborah Munch, David & Sharon Osteen, Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm, Contra Costa County:
It has been a hard decision, but we have decided to call off all our field trips this year and not open to the public at all this fall. We would need a lot of visitors to make our normal operations... read more

From Phil McGrath, McGrath Family Farm, Camarillo, Ventura County:
We have had a pumpkin patch for over 40 years, and the last 20 years its been all organic. We will be taking all the precautions necessary... read more

From Craig Underwood, Underwood Family Farms, Moorpark & Somis, Ventura County:
We think it will be a huge crowd this fall, based on the number of people coming to our farm stand and U-Pick patches. The farm stand is still busy, although down a bit from the first rush in March and April. Most days we have 600 to 700 people out picking, with 2000 or more on the weekends. We planted for a normal year, but... read more

From Steve Murray, Murray Family Farms, Bakersfield:
At Murray Family Farms we operate in three sectors; tourism, direct fruit marketing through our two freeway retail facilities/off site farmers markets and wholesale fruit sales through other people’s packing houses. It is interesting to read how other small farms focused on growing their CSA or their U-pick. We did not start a CSA, shut down our U-pick and canceled spring and summer festivals. Instead our focus has been... read more
Notes from here and there...
Visit California now provides the tourism industry with a comprehensive and regularly updated Coronavirus Update on the Visit California Industry website. Included are:
Farm Aid Launches Farmer Resilience Initiative
Farm Aid has announced that it is distributing $400,000 to launch a national  COVID-19 Farmer Resilience Initiative  in response to COVID-19. As part of the initiative, Farm Aid, with the help of local and regional partners, is distributing grants in $500 increments to help farmers meet household expenses. In addition to the grants, Farm Aid is providing resources from its national partners, which include Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG), Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA), Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Intertribal Agriculture Council, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. The initiative includes a number of measures designed to support farmers.
From Travel Oregon:
Expanding Eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to DMOs

Senators Cruz, Rubio and Scott have officially introduced  S. 3992 , a bill to expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to DMOs of all statuses who have 300 or fewer employees. 

This bill's provisions match  H.R. 6697 , the "Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501(c)(6) Protection Act of 2020," introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last month by Reps. Pappas and Fitzpatrick. 

Providing economic relief to DMOs is vital for the travel and tourism industry and the broader U.S. economy and has been a top priority for U.S. Travel since the CARES Act first passed.  
Resources for dealing in Covid-19 times
Some guidance & resources

  • COVID-19 Agritourism Resources on UC CA Agritourism website

  • Finally, Coronavirus HR Comms & Resources Guide a crowdsourced collection of resources for HR and business leaders to help inform and support Coronavirus response plans. Here you’ll find a curated collection of public Coronavirus response communications, templates, news, remote work, hiring impact, and resources.
General Agritourism Resources
  • California Agritourism - a UC ANR website compiling information and resources for farmers, ranchers and everyone involved in California Agritourism into one easy-to-use location

  • Agritourism Intensive 2019 - agendas, handouts and presentations from the 3-session agritourism planning class offered in Calaveras and Santa Cruz Counties, Jan-Mar, 2019

  • Farm-Based Education Network - A free international member network established to strengthen and support the work of educators, farmers and community leaders providing access and experiences of all kinds on productive working farms.

  • Farm Stay U.S. -The website of the U.S. Farm Stay Association, promoting farm and ranch stays in the United States and providing resources for farm stay operators and visitors.

  • Hipcamp Landshare - rural accommodations marketing site - If you are legally permitted to offer camping, cabins, or any kind of farm stay or guest ranch on your land, these San Francisco based folks may be good marketing partners.

  • Harvest Hosts - a program that connects farms and wineries with RV owners. Invite Harvest Hosts' RV owners to park overnight on your property and benefit from the goodwill that motivates them to make purchases.

  • AgritourismReady website - Created by Ohio State University Extension: A One Stop Shop for preparing your emergency management plan

  • North American Farm Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) - a membership based trade association dedicated to providing endless peer-to-peer learning opportunities, connections and resources, for farmers who are passionate about the business of agritourism and farm direct marketing. 

Agritourism Program - UC SAREP
(530)752-5208 |