Open Farm Week announces dates, revamped website
Open Farm Week is a celebration of Vermont farms offering visitors a backstage pass to learn more about local food origins, authentic agritourism experiences, and the chance to build relationships with farmers. This year visitors can explore regional trails, featuring multiple farms and activities, to take a deeper dive into the unique rural character of each corner of Vermont. Events vary from farm to farm, including activities like milking cows or goats, learning to make pickles, working with fiber, crop-mobs, on-farm dinners, or scavenger hunts.
Janet Steward of Greenfield Highland Cattle reflected on her Open Farm Week experience introducing the public to her majestic highland herd, "Everyone was so appreciative of the beauty of the animals and landscape, and what we do. We were able to show people how our beef is raised, and how we believe any beef people eat should be raised. The joy and peace on people's faces, being on a working farm and being around animals was worth it to us."
Technical assistance will be available to farmers who desire personalized assistance to help organize their events and assess their safety protocol. Registration for farms will open on March 12. Scheduling, timeline, and additional event information can be found at DigInVT.com/openfarmweek.
2017's Open Farm Week event saw increased reach through partnership marketing with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and Front Porch Forum, drawing visitors from Vermont and beyond to the many participating farms throughout the state. Visitors reported an increased connection with farms and farmers because of their Open Farm Week experience, with 80 percent of attendees responding that their Open Farm Week visit has inspired them to purchase and consume more local food.
Open Farm Week is a collaborative statewide agritourism project organized by members of the Vermont Farm to Plate Network including the University of Vermont Extension, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Vermont Fresh Network, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, Shelburne Farms and Farm-Based Education, NOFA-VT, and City Market. Open Farm Week helps reach Vermont's Farm to Plate food system plan goals to increase farm profitability, local food availability, and consumption of Vermont food products.
Open Farm Week is made possible by its sustaining sponsors: City Market/Onion River Coop, NOFA-VT, and DigInVT.com, along with the generous time commitment of Farm to Plate Network organizers. Learn more at DiginVT.com.
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