- Author: Penny Leff
UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) in partnership with Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Santa Clara County Farm Bureaus, Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, Santa Cruz County Small Business Development Center, Gizdich Ranch and other local partners, will offer a three-session agritourism planning course for farmers and ranchers. Farmers and ranchers in Santa Cruz County and the surrounding region who are considering, starting or expanding agritourism or nature tourism enterprises on their farms or ranches are invited to register for this low-cost, hands-on course.
“Agricultural operations in the Santa Cruz region offer a diversity of beautiful natural resources and unique experiences with local farmers and ranchers. It can be hard for small-scale farmers to make a living in the face of an increasing regulatory burden and tightening land, labor and water access. Our workshops will give farmers and ranchers the contacts and tools to understand regulatory requirements and make plans to grow and market their individual agritourism enterprises, adding to their income and helping spread the risk of tough production years,” said Aparna Gazula, Small Farm Advisor with UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties.
Participants will learn about the variety of potential businesses, including farm stands, U-Pick operations, farm stays, farm dinners, event hosting, educational programs, festivals and outdoor recreation. Each participant will receive a free copy of the UC ANR published handbook, “Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California”, which 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. Spanish translation will be offered for workshop presentations and discussions if needed.
Registration is open. Space is limited, so please sign up early.
Santa Cruz County Agritourism Intensive:
Dates: Thursdays, January 10, February 7 & March 7, 2019
Times: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each session (lunch provided)
Location: UCCE Santa Cruz County, 1430 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville, CA 95076
Cost: $60 for 3-session course
For more Information: Penny Leff, UCCE Agritourism Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-752-5208
This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24225.