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

Happy Fall!

In this newsletter:

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
New: Guide to hosting a Farm Festival just published online

In our urbanizing world, hosting a festival on the farm can be a way for farmers to bring in additional income while sharing enjoyable rural experiences with city and suburban people and with their own communities.

As part of UC SAREP's " Growing California Agritourism Communities " project, we have just completed a guide that will help you set your goals and start organizing a festival to show-case your crops or your region, share the fun, educate your visitors and bring additional revenue to your farm or community.

New: Guide to Farm and Ranch
Stays just published online

Offering a farm stay, where working farms and ranches provide lodging to urban or suburban travelers looking for a country experience, can be a win-win for both parties. The farm or ranch diversifies its product offering, thus reducing risk and bringing in additional revenue; the traveler has a unique lodging experience.

As part of UC SAREP's " Growing California Agritourism Communities " project, we have just completed, in cooperation with Farm Stay USA, a guide that provides advice and resources for farmers and ranchers considering offering on-farm lodging.


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.

County Agritourism Regulatory Updates
Agritourism land use COMMENTS DUE in Contra Costa County
Goal: Sustaining Agricultural lands by Improving Economic Vitality
Discussion wraps up in Contra Costa County after a series of meetings to review the County's land use policies related to agriculture.

The Agricultural Land Use Process Review is an engagement process for interested stakeholders to review agricultural sustainability and economic vitality in Contra Costa County by reviewing existing land use regulations and providing input on potential modifications to these policies.

Comments on the draft recommendations on reforming agricultural land use are due by Thursday October 31, 2019.

The documents provided and discussed, including the draft recommendations are found on the county webpage under the tab “Upcoming Meetings.”

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
Riverside County is first to allow Microenterprise Home Kitchen
Farm Dinners for up to 30 People ?

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MHKO) is a food facility that is operated by a resident in a private home where food is stored, handled, and prepared for, and may be served to consumers either directly or through delivery. Food must be prepared, cooked, and served on the same day with a maximum of 30 meals per day, or a total of 60 meals per week. For more information on operational requirements , view the informational bulletin

Educational Opportunities:
Farm Stay USA offers Farm Stay Best Practices Webinars - live and recorded

Farm Stay USA , a trade association for farm stay operators - is offering educational webinars sharing the knowledge of experienced farm stay operators. Recent webinars include:
To join the live webinars, you need to "become a member" of Farm Stay USA by signing up online, but signing up is FREE.
October 22-23, 2019
Arapahoe County Fairgrounds
Aurora, Colorado

Two days of expertly-led sessions designed to give new and established business owners the information needed to build and grow a profitable business.
Network, collaborate and cooperate with peers, experts and suppliers to solve common problems and find inspiration.
Find innovative products, services and ideas tailored to create a unique outdoor experience for your visitors.
From the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA):

Save the dates for NAFDMA's Agritourism Learning Retreat (ALR) this fall at Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Nebraska (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) featuring a Bonus Day at Center Grove Orchard in Iowa (Oct. 30).

ALR is when you can get an in-depth, and behind the scenes access to the inner workings of an outstanding member's business. This live event takes place when the farm is open to the public and operating on all cylinders, giving attendees a unique all-access learning experience.
Beef, Bees, Trees & Gelato:
Doing & Earning More from a Ranch
Thursday, October 17
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Stemple Creek Ranch, Tomales, CA

This joint meeting of the Central Coast Rangeland Coalition (CCRC) and Society for Range Management (SRM) will focus on ranch diversification to promote sustainable working rangelands. We will hear from ranchers and landowners who have reconfigured their ranches to generate additional income and from land managers who have worked with ranchers to diversify enterprises that promote land management goals and rancher sustainability. Cost $40 for early registration by October 9, includes lunch.
Funding Opportunities:
Farmer/Rancher SARE Grants
The Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Farmer/Rancher grant program involves agricultural producers as the main applicants, and technical advisor(s) to implement projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. Producers integrate research and education to conduct on-site/on-farm experiments to improve production, marketing, and the environment. Projects are limited to $20,000 for one producer or to $25,000 for three or more producers, for up to three years. Applications due November 11.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Concept Proposals due October 18!
cdfa logo
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) conducts an annual competitive solicitation process to award Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds to projects that enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. Specialty crops are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).
  • California Agritourism - an 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.