CHIPLEY, Fla. — Holmes, Jackson and Washington County Tourist Development Councils in partnership with the UF/IFAS Extension Washington County will be holding an agritourism workshop entitled “Keeping Your Agritourism Farm Fresh Part 3”. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at the Washington County Agricultural Center, located at 1424 W Jackson Avenue in Chipley. The workshop is a continuation of a series committed to helping farmers introduce tourism on their farms.
The workshop will include speakers focused on utilizing farm resources, creative marketing strategies, diversifying farms to create year-round attractions, agribusiness insurance, risk management and contingency plans, and information on the Fall Farm Tour hosted by Tallahassee-based Millstone Plantation. Speakers will include educational professionals from area colleges, insurance agents from Farm Bureau, attorneys with a focus on agritourism, and owners of agritourism operations. A Lunch and Learn session focusing on utilizing local resources will be presented by Jackson and Washington County Tourist Development Council Directors.
While the workshop is geared towards potential and existing farms, Jackson County TDC Executive Director Christy Andreasen invites the general public to attend as well. “Our three counties have been working on developing agritourism resources for locals and visitors for several years. One of the main components in agritourism is education. These workshops provide not only information for our farmers, but an insight to what it actually takes to have a successful agritourism operation. It’s also a great way to network with people in your own community and learn about their industry.”
Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties also hope to encourage more farms to participate in Millstone Plantation’s annual Farm Tour. Andreasen and Washington County TDC Director, Heather Lopez feel that collaborations of this type are crucial when dealing with rural areas. “We’ve seen the Farm Tour come through this area for several years and reached out to the coordinator, Majken Peterzen, who agreed to come speak at the workshop and answer any questions the farmers might have. Their last Farm Tour saw an estimated attendance of 13,000 people over the course of two days, which is tremendous when you stop to think about the type of economic impact that has on an area.” Lopez believes agritourism is a growing trend in the region, and that the three counties have an advantage. “Our counties are rural and farmers make up a large part of our workforce. By opening their farms to the public, these farmers are ensuring the history and heritage of farming in our region continues to be passed down through generations. It’s great to see kids get excited to visit a farm and learn about where their food comes from.”
The workshop registration fee is $20 and includes coffee and lunch. To register, please visit https://visitwcfla.yapsody.com. For additional information, please contact Christy Andreasen with the Jackson County TDC at (850) 482-8061, or Heather Lopez with the Washington County TDC at (850) 638-6013.