Farmers: Open Farm Week is a great way to engage with customers and your community. At this point, we want to make sure that you have the week on your calendars so you can start planning. Remember, you can choose any day during the week to host an event, or have events on multiple days. Registration for farm participation is open now on the new DigInVT.com and will run until July 2nd - note that the deadline to request scholarships and TA is May 15th.
Register today at www.diginvt.com/blog/openfarmweekforfarmers/
Important Details for Open Farm Week 2018
Event Requirements: Feedback has shown that people attending Open Farm Week events are looking for activities, farmer interaction and unique events. Open Farm Week’s focus is on events during the week and weekend - we will not highlight farms that are not doing an event on their farm. For example, rather than listing a farm stand as open throughout the week as an Open Farm Week event, the farm will be required to have an activity (big or small) in addition that is not part of their regular farm schedule. Examples of eligible events include farming demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and tastings, hayrides, farm dinners, and open houses with farmer-led tours. Feel free to get creative and if you want to include a standing event you usually host during that week, we’re just asking that you provide a special addition to the event that we can highlight for Open Farm Week. Questions about this? Please let us know - we can help you find the right fit for your farm.
Cost to Participate: The $50 fee for farms to participate covers the signage and promotional materials that we will ship directly to your business as well as a portion of staff time dedicated to listing and promoting your event.
Featured Farms: For farms interested in being a featured Open Farm Week Farm, you can pay an additional $20. For this fee, DigInVT will boost a Facebook post (a $20 boost) promoting your event to a targeted audience and your farm will be prioritized in our media outreach.
Technical Assistance: Our Open Farm Week team is available to provide resources & technical assistance to a limited number of farms that would like support developing ideas and preparing for visitors. Vera Simon-Nobes of the Farm-Based Education Network and Lisa Chase of UVM Extension can help you develop an event that's right for your farm and community, along with a timeline, marketing plan, and safety plan. There is no additional charge for this technical assistance, but you do need to apply for it by May 15th via the Open Farm Week registration form.
For shorter questions, there is no need to apply. Please feel free to reach out to any of us.
● Lisa Chase at UVM Extension: Lisa.Chase@uvm.edu or 802-257-7967.
● Vera Simon-Nobes at Farm-Based Ed Network: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-985-0382
● Erin Buckwalter at NOFA-VT: email@example.com or 802-434-4122
● Noelle Sevoian at Vermont Fresh Network: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-434-2000
Discounts & Scholarships: New this year, there are a limited amount of funds to cover all or part of the participation fees for farms needing assistance. Farms participating for educational purposes that do not typically do on-farm sales will be prioritized for these scholarship funds. In addition, neighboring or similarly themed farms interested in collaborating and marketing their events together can sign up together and receive a discount - $150 for up to 5 farms. Farms must apply for financial support by May 15th via the Open Farm Week registration form.
Resources: Many resources and tips on hosting events are available here: www.uvm.edu/vtagritourism. Some specific guides for setting up an event may be particularly helpful!
● The Farm-Based Education Network also has several great free scavenger hunts, tools for engaging all five senses on a farm visit, and more activities to share with guests on your farm.
Please be in touch with any questions and we look forward to hearing about your events!
The 2018 Open Farm Week Organizing Team
Mae Quilty, City Market; Erin Buckwalter, NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association; Lisa Chase, UVM Extension; Sarah Danley and Shane Rogers, Farm to Plate Network; Tara Pereira and Noelle Sevoian, Vermont Fresh Network & DigInVT; Hilary DelRoss, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing; Vera Simon-Nobes, Shelburne Farms, Farm-Based Education Network and the Vermont Farm to Plate Network Agritourism Task Force; Alissa Matthews, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets