California Agritourism News May 2018
News and notes for the agritourism community from UC SAREP

Happy Springtime!

It's been a while since the last agritourism newsletter, but we're still here doing our best to support everyone involved in California agritourism. Thanks to all of you who were part of the recent "Teaching and Supporting Agritourism" professional development workshops in Woodland and San Diego. I know some of you are using lessons and contacts from the workshops to plan workshops and group activities in your regions. See below for links to teaching resources from the workshops.

Also in this newsletter:
  • "Agritourism Intensive" classes coming in El Dorado and Santa Cruz Counties
  • - UC agritourism directory offers free listings and calendar of events
  • Nevada County adopts new agritourism-friendly ordinances
  • Vacaville farmers form new agritourism association
  • California Farm Bill thoughts (guest editorial)
  • National Young Farmers Coalition survey
  • County Agricultural Ombudsmen bridge the divide
  • Final Sacramento Urban Agriculture workshop this week
  • How do YOU think agritourism should be defined?
  • Useful resources

Please stay in touch; let us know your news and updates for the next newsletter!

Penny Leff
Agritourism Coordinator
UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
UC SAREP Agritourism Programs
Help plan "Agritourism Intensive" classes for El Dorado or Santa Cruz County?

UC SAREP, with funding from Western Extension Risk Management Education, will be offering three-session agritourism planning classes during Winter 2018-19 for farmers and ranchers who are considering starting or expanding agritourism operations. The classes will be held in El Dorado and Santa Cruz Counties, and will be open to farmers and ranchers in each region.

We invite experienced agritourism operators, tourism professionals, county staff and agricultural organization representatives in El Dorado and Santa Cruz Counties to join our planning/advisory committee for these classes, in order to best meet the needs of each region. Planning will start in July 2018. Interested? Contact Penny at
Resources for Teaching and Supporting Agritourism now online
Thanks to all of you who participated in the Yolo County and San Diego County "Teaching and Supporting Agritourism" professional development workshops this past winter. It was great to meet you and learn your exciting plans for regional agritourism development.

Presentations and other resources from those workshops are now available on the UC SAREP website.

If you are a working California farmer or rancher operating an agritourism business or organizing agritourism events, we invite you 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.

Nevada Co. adopts new ordinances
Nevada County Board of Supervisors adopted new agricultural ordinances in March 2018, clearly defining and easing the permitting for agritourism activities on farms and ranches that are "ancillary and accessory" to the growing or raising of food and fiber. For more information, contact Tyler Barrington, Principal Planner, Nevada County.

New Vacaville Agritourism Association
Farmers offering agritourism in the Vacaville region of Solano County are partnering with Visit Vacaville to form a new trade association, Pleasants Valley Agricultural Association. Visit Vacaville is creating a logo and a map of the farms open to visitors and is working with the farmers on future plans.

One goal of the group is to collectively work with Solano County staff to ease regulatory barriers and permit fees for agricultural activities that draw visitors to the farms. To learn more, contact Alexis Koefoed at
A California Farm Bill for Our Future - editorial by Paul Muller
For the first time in its history, California may create its own farm bill, AB-2166. If passed, it would be unique in the nation and appropriate for our trend-setting state. With the deeply flawed federal farm bill unlikely to improve in the Trump era, a state bill is good news. Unfortunately, the bill lacks two critical elements, agroecology and nutrition, ... read more
National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is conducting a survey of California farmers to help inform legislators, technical assistance providers, and farm advocates of what they need to do to help you thrive. The national survey results are available here . 

If you are a farmer, rancher, farm employee, or intern in California, you can fill out the survey here by May 15. Survey results will be published as a report in June 2018. 

For information about NYFC's California work, please visit .
Confidential and non-regulatory help with negotiating permits and regulations
Adria Arko_San Mateo County
California agritourism operators report regularly that navigating the permitting and regulatory process is a major challenge for farmers trying to invite the public onto their land for festivals, tours, dinners, classes, lodging or other activities. Some help is now available, at no cost, in some places.

Five Northern California counties offer non-enforcement person-to-person consultation to farmers and ranchers exploring the regulations and permitting requirements for agritourism, food processing or other farm-related activities. If your farm or ranch is located in Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo, Yolo or Solano Counties, you can call your Agricultural Ombudsman or Farmbudsman to discuss your ideas and plans... Read More
Sacramento Urban Agriculture Workshop Series - Final workshop
May 4, 2018, 8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Food Safety Basics for Urban Farmers
Soil Born Farms, Rancho Cordova
Are you an urban farmer in the Sacramento region growing food for sale or other distribution in your community? This special one-day workshop is designed to guide urban farmers through common food safety principals and challenges. Learn from UCCE advisors and local partners.

For more information and registration, click here
Your thoughts requested on the definition of agritourism
How should #Agritourism be defined & measured? It's important for farm viability, programming, and policy. The authors of a newly published Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development viewpoint note that the #AgCensus definition of agritourism "remains narrowly constructed in comparison to other definitions used in agritourism literature and academic studies." Their proposed framework defines 5 categories, each with core & peripheral activities. The authors seek feedback! See the paper at and comment here. Share with colleagues as well!
  • Agritourism Conversations (recorded) - A series of practical webinars and an online forum about topics of interest to the California agritourism community, in partnership with FarmsReach

  • 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.