Over the past two years, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Giles have been developing an agri-tourism and agri-business plan. This tri-county effort has produced maps of all agri-businesses, agri-tourism venues, and restaurants serving local food. The project was a partnership between VT Cooperative Extension, local agricultural producers, along with local and state government leadership and was completed in December 2014.
The purpose of the New River Valley Agriculture and Agritourism Strategic Plan is two-fold: 1) gain a better understanding of what the current agriculture assets are in the community; and 2) develop a plan of work that will support and enhance agriculture and agritourism in the region.
Key Recommendations for Agribusiness included: 1) developing Agriculture Development Boards at each county; 2) exploring production infrastructure opportunities for meats and produce; 3) establishing a small producer network to generally foster closer communication and collaboration; 4) identifying opportunities for beginning farmers; and 5) creating teams to assist
with whole farm planning.
Key recommendations for Agritourism included: 1) developing and enhancing agritourism marketing strategies in the NRV; 2) increasing the number of festivals and events held on farms; 3) creating an interactive web-based tool that promotes and grows agritourism in the region; 4) providing educational opportunities for the agritourism community; and 5) increasing opportunities for on farm direct sales of locally produced food and value added products. The Strategic Plan outlines a collaborative effort for our regional partners. Accomplishing the goals and strategies will preserve and promote the positive impacts that agriculture and agritourism offer our community.