Agritourism Conference Registration Deadline Nears
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s second statewide agritourism conference is scheduled for Jan. 22-23, 2007 at the Music Road Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge.
The Tennessee Agritourism Conference focuses on issues affecting the growing number of Tennessee farmers who invite the public to visit to their farms to enjoy farm-related activities or purchase products directly from the producer.
“Farmers who receive income from on-farm sales need to register now for this conference,” says Dan Strasser, agritourism coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “All registrations received by Dec. 15 are only $75 per person; registrations received after Dec. 15 are $125.” Registrations can be made by calling (865) 974-0280 or via Internet at www.picktnproducts.org.
“Straight to the point sessions,” says Strasser, “include the latest information on agritourism marketing, pricing, risk management, hospitality, safety, visitor preferences and more. The comments we’ve received from farmers who attended the 2005 conference let us know that there’s real value in coming together to talk with experts—and with each other.”
Andrew Dixon, of Grandaddy’s Farm in Estill Springs, agrees. “Networking is one of the most valuable activities at the conference,” says Dixon.
“I attended Tennessee’s first statewide agritourism conference,” says Dixon. “We opened Grandaddy’s Farm in 2006, and our first year was a success, made possible through assistance received from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, University of Tennessee Extension, and mentorship by an experienced agritourism operator.”
“We’ve worked hard to develop a program that meets the needs of Tennessee farmers,” says Strasser. “This conference is not a repeat of our last conference. We’ll address new topics and provide updated information about the ongoing and emerging issues facing agritourism operators.”
The conference is among efforts sponsored by the state’s Tennessee Agritourism Initiative partners to build farm income in the state. Initiative partners include the Tennessee Departments of Agriculture, Tourist Development and Economic and Community Development; the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation; and UT Extension. Funding for the conference comes in part from Initiative partners, the Tennessee Agritourism Association and USDA Rural Development.
More information on agritourism farms across Tennessee and the conference can be found at www.picktnproducts.org or by calling the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at (615) 837-5160.