Here’s a developing list of resources related to creating virtual farm tours and other farm events.

Virtual Farm & Food Experiences webinar. Univ of Vermont and International Workshop on AgriTourism. Visit the latter for more webinars. Sponsored by Yonder, a new agritourism and farm stay platform. Also see the resources from the webinar: Eleanor Leger, Eden Specialty Ciders, Vermont, USA and Caroline Millar, Balkello Farm and Go Rural, Dundee, Scotland.

Pony Power Therapies in New Jersey. Webinar recording of farm tour.

This guide was written for farmers up north in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has ideas you can use here in Texas. Hey Texas farmers and ranchers, add your comments below to share your ideas.

Are you a farmer interested in diversifying into on-farm food service and serve meals on your farm?  As local food fans continue to flock to on-farm dining experiences, from multi-course farm-to-table meals to family-friendly pizza nights. This opens up opportunities for farmers to launch dining experiences on their family farms and add an income stream. 

A new free publication, Come & Get It: What you need to know to serve food on your farm  is a 120-page guide with case studies of nine successful farm businesses. Spearheaded by Renewing the Countryside, this project created publications specifically for Wisconsin and Minnesota to help navigate and understand various regulations.  

Texas farmers. Share your ideas for increasing farm income using agri tourism. Add your comments below

On July 12th, farmers from around the state of Texas met in Elgin, Texas at the Fleming Community Center to learn about financial management for small-scale producers and to gain the skills necessary to run a successful food business in Texas. The Agripreneurship 101 training event was led by a team from The Alliance for Rural Impact and was sponsored by the Texas Center for Local Food and Alamo Ranch Farmer’s Market, with funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The training was conducted as a one-day intensive and included sessions on: Business Structure, Separation of Finances, Building and Accessing Credit, Developing Financial Documents and Tips for Tough Financial Times. The course covered a wide array of topics and features presentations from a diverse collection of speakers, including an NRCS Conservationist and former representatives of the financial industry. After completing the training, participants left with new knowledge, skills, and the confidence to efficiently and effectively navigate the financial system and fund their small, farm business.

The full details of the Agripreneurship 101 training event and TCLF’s evaluation report can be found here.

If you are interested in similar trainings and other local food events, make sure to check out our Event Calendar.

We were so happy to host the team from Iowa State for our recent Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems trainings. Below, please find a recent blog post from Lauren, an intern that helped with the training, about her time in Texas. Keep up the great work y’all!
texas ACC sign
Austin Community College farmers market.
janning picby Lauren Janning, CFSP summer intern

In May, I had the privilege of traveling to Texas with the ISU Community Food Systems Program team. I was looking forward to observing and participating in the Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems trainings. And I was excited to explore Austin and Elgin and experience the local food scene in rural and urban settings.

Courtney Long (CFSP manager) and I took advantage of our free time the morning after our arrival to check out downtown Austin. We saw a beautiful garden space built near a middle school, designed for outdoor learning experiences in growing fresh food.

We also came across a local eatery called Hillside Farmacy and noted its location to enjoy the next morning for breakfast. Thank goodness we did, because they had the most elegant menu featuring a variety of local items. The value they place on providing healthy, delicious, and locally sourced produce for their customers is admirable and very appealing!

Feeding 28 million in Texas

Next, the Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems trainings brought us to the small town of Elgin. There, a diverse group of passionate food leaders congregated to learn about improving their communities in southeast Texas. I was grateful for the opportunity to witness Courtney and Kaley Hohenshell’s expertise as it pertains to community food systems. And I enjoyed hearing more about the successes of the advocates in this partner state.

These leaders are faced with the very challenging responsibility of feeding a state of more than 28 million. But they are wise, innovative, inclusive, resilient, and incredibly determined to make a difference one step at a time. I am excited for the impacts they will continue to make within their local food systems in years to come.

Our final adventure in Texas included a tour of the sustainable agriculture program at Austin Community College and a site visit to Coyote Creek Farms (pictured below). I loved witnessing the implementation and growth of educational programs and local businesses. We also saw examples of the procurement of local food at various restaurants throughout the region.

I realized on this journey that the community food system (and agriculture in general) is an incredibly unpredictable field and often lacks security. But with creativity, support, and a bit of mental endurance, positive change will continue to propel the local food movement forward.