Agritourism Intensive classes start soon in Riverside, Ventura and Monterey counties

Oct 31, 2013

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is working with local agricultural and business planning organizations, tourism professionals, and experienced agritourism operators to offer a three-session agritourism planning course for farmers and ranchers in Riverside, Ventura and Monterey counties. Farmers and ranchers who are considering, starting or expanding agritourism or nature tourism businesses on their farms or ranches are invited to register.

“With prices, competition and water situations the way they are all over California, it can be hard for a farmer or rancher to make a living on small acreage," said Jose Fernandez De Soto, UC Cooperative Extension academic coordinator and member of the project team in Ventura County. "Events, U-Pick orchards, educational tours, farm stays, and other visitor-serving operations can add something to their income and help spread the risk of a hard production year. Our workshops will give farmers and ranchers the contacts and tools to more successfully grow and market their agritourism enterprises."

Participants will learn about the variety of potential businesses, including farm stands, U-Pick operations, event hosting, tours, festivals and outdoor recreation. Each participant will receive a free copy of “Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California." The handbook, published by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, will be used as the text for the class. Attendees will hear from experienced agritourism operators and experts in business planning, risk management, regulatory compliance and marketing. Class instructors will provide individual guidance and help participants form a supportive network as they plan and develop their own agritourism or nature tourism businesses.

Ventura County Agritourism Intensive: 

    Dates: Tuesdays, Dec 3, 2013, Jan 14 & Feb 11, 2014
    Times: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each session (lunch provided)
    Location: Center for Non-Profit Leadership, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo
    Cost: $50 for 3-session course – Registration:

Monterey County Agritourism Intensive:

    Dates: Friday, Dec 6, 2013, Wednesdays, Jan 8 and Feb 5, 2014
    Times: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each session (lunch provided)
    Location: UC Cooperative Extension Monterey County, 1432 Abbott St, Salinas
    Cost: $50 for 3-session course – Registration:      

Riverside County Agritourism Intensive:

    Dates: Mondays, Dec 9, 2013, Jan 13 and Feb 10, 2014
    Times: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each session (lunch provided)
    Location: Western Municipal Water District, 14205 Meridian Parkway, Riverside
    Cost: $40 for 3-session course – Registration:      

For more Information:  Penny Leff, UCCE Agritourism Coordinator,, 530-752-7779

Funding for this project was provided by the Washington State University Western Center for Risk Management Education, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

By Penny Leff
Author - Agritourism Coordinator/Public Education Specialist