Feb 16, 2021
University of California offers free online trainings on direct sales and agritourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge shock to California’s food economy, forcing many of the state’s growers to embrace new business practices and drop old ones as “shelter-in-place” directives rolled across the state.

But the pandemic’s challenges bring new opportunities too. Consumers’ interest in local food and local outdoor experiences has grown immensely, from community-supported agriculture (CSA) and other online ordering, delivery and on-farm pickup options, to visits to farm stands, U-pick operations and other family-friendly socially distanced outdoor activities.

Pivoting to these new marketing channels opens new revenue opportunities for farmers and ranchers across California and the nation. But each new marketing channel also demands new skills and connections.

To help build growers’ skills to embrace these market channels, the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is partnering with the Community Alliance of Family Farmers (CAFF) and expert growers across California to offer the free webinar series Agritourism and Direct Sales: Best practices in COVID times and beyond.

Through eight one-hour virtual trainings held this spring, participants will learn about best practices for implementing a variety of direct-to-consumer sales approaches. These trainings are offered to anyone interested in learning more about direct-to-consumer sales and agritourism. Topics and dates are:

Getting started with community supported agriculture Tuesday February 23, 11am–12pm PST
Best practices for U-pick operations Monday March 8, 3-4pm PST
Operating a safe, healthy and successful farm stand Monday March 22, 3-4pm PST
Best practices for visitor interaction with animals Monday April 5, 3-4pm PST
Best practices for farm tours, workshops and farm-based education Monday April 19, 3-4pm PST
Online sales options and methods Monday May 3, 3-4pm PST
Creative marketing and staying connected with social media Monday May 17, 3-4pm PST
Community collaboration – farm trails, tourism partners and more Monday May 24, 3-4pm PST

Register at sarep.ucdavis.edu/agritourism2021.

For more information:
Penny Leff, UC SAREP, [email protected], 530.902.9763 (cell)




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