California Agritourism News May 2019
News and notes for the agritourism community from UC SAREP

Happy springtime to everyone!

In this newsletter:
  • Agritourism Intensive Class resources posted online
  • New energy for CA agritourism directory & calendar
  • County planning updates related to agritourism:
  • Contra Costa County issues draft ordinances-comments due soon
  • Siskiyou County zoning ammendment to Planning Commission
  • History Train dinner events on Merced County dairy farm
  • Use Airbnb to add value to your small farm or ranch
  • Some educational opportunities
  • Useful resources

Thanks for all you're doing.
Please stay in touch; let us know your stories and updates for the next newsletter!

Penny Leff
Agritourism Coordinator
UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
UC SAREP Agritourism Programs
Handouts and presentations from Agritourism Intensive classes available online
Farmers and ranchers gathered in Watsonville and Angels Camp this winter for 3-session hands-on, interactive Agritourism Intensive classes to evaluate their options, learn from experts, and begin planning their new or expanded agritourism enterprise.

Both classes are now completed, but presentations, handouts and additional resources shared in the classes have been posted and are available on the project webpage: Agritourism Intensive 2019

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24225 .-24225.
Nicole Curiel
New energy: Nicole Curiel keeps vibrant

Student intern and future farmer Nicole Curiel is busy this spring sharing events and updating listings for CA agritourism operators on , our new instagram account and Facebook page . Please send her your news.

We invite California farmers and ranchers operating agritourism businesses or events to complete the  directory application  or event listing form  online (remember to upload a picture too).

Already listed? Please check your listing and send us any changes (and a picture) 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.
County Agritourism Planning Updates
Agritourism discussion continues in Contra Costa County
Goal: Sustaining Agricultural lands by Improving Economic Vitality
Discussion continues in Contra Costa County in a series of meetings to review the County's land use policies related to agriculture.

Farmers, ranchers and agricultural organization representatives have participated in several meetings in different regions of Contra Costa County, proposing county agricultural policies that allow farm stays, rural restaurants, incubator farms for new farmers, clean safe farm-worker housing, and cattle grazing on public parkland, as a start.

The next agricultural policy review meeting will be on Thursday, May 23 from 10 am – noon at the Knightsen Farm Bureau , 3020 Second Street, Knightsen.

Comments on the Ag Policy Working Draft Recommendations should be submitted by Friday, May 17 th, . Please visit the ag website to access a copy under the tab “Upcoming Meetings – Ninth Meeting.”

To learn more, to be added to the email list to receive notices of meetings, or to submit comments, contact Jennifer Cruz, Senior Planner, Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development at 925-674-7790 or
Siskiyou County Agritourism Zoning Amendment receives comments, goes to Planning Commission on May 15

Siskiyou County is taking steps to create some rules that work for farmers, ranchers and their neighbors. The Siskiyou County Planning Commission appointed an Agritourism Technical Advisory Committee that met throughout spring 2018 to discuss potential changes to the County code regarding agritourism. The committee gave its recommendation to the Planning Commission in June and the Commission directed staff and Counsel to draft the zoning revision.

The proposed zone changes have received a Mitigated Negative Declaration in the CEQA review process, have received multiple public comments, and will be decided at the May 15 Planning Commission Meeting at the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka.

The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration includes the draft text of the proposed ordinance as an attachment, beginning on page 66. The proposed Agritourism Zoning Text Amendment & staff report, Frequently asked questions and public comments on the proposed ordinance are available for public review.

All meetings regarding the proposed changes will be public and will be noticed in the newspaper and on the county website .

For more information, please contact Christy Cummings Dawson,
Stories from the field...
Tony and Arlean Azevedo
Family grows History Train Adventure from organic dairy roots in Merced County

Tony Azevedo's father moved the family from Watsonville, where he operated a small dairy, to Stevenson in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley in 1958. Azevedo rented 15 acres of land that had become alkaline through irrigation with no drainage for many years. He put in drainage, worked the land and put it into pasture. Starting with this land and adding 10 or 15 acres at a time, Azevedo developed...

Use Airbnb to add value to your small farm or ranch
by Laura Snell, UC ANR Modoc County Director and Airbnb Modoc Rural Retreat

I have been an Airbnb host for nearly four years now, meeting people from all over the world and sharing my rural way of life. I currently own a 3 bedroom/2 bath house on 10 acres in Modoc County, CA. Modoc County is in the northeast corner of California bordering Nevada and Oregon. It is quite rural with over 70% public land and just under 10,000 people.

Guests that come and stay with me enjoy the amazing summer night skies filled with stars and wake up to a beautiful view of the Warner Mountains. When I first bought the property, I questioned how to earn income on a small property and also educate the public about rural living – Airbnb provided an opportunity. Now, beyond helping you to rent a space, Airbnb can also help you...

View from Modoc deck
Educational Opportunities:
Farm Stay USA offers Farm Stay Best Practices Webinar Series

Beginning in May 2019 and continuing every two weeks through August, Farm Stay USA , a trade association for farm stay operators - is offering educational webinars sharing the knowledge of experienced farm stay operators. To access the webinars, you need to "become a member" of Farm Stay USA by signing up online, but signing up is FREE.
NAFDMA Agritourism Farm Tour- Minneapolis MN July 22 - 25, 2019

Learn from operators and innovators in the agritourism industry. Join other agritourism operators for two jam packed tour days featuring 13 tour stops. You will explore a variety of business models with focus areas in the following categories:
  • Production
  • Pick-Your-Own
  • Agritainment
  • Retail 

  • 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.