We have begun planning for our 6th annual Vermont Open Farm Week! This year’s Open Farm Week will take place August 10 - 16, 2020 - please save the date! Farms all over the state will be hosting special events during this week, some just for one day and others for several days or all throughout the week. Registration is now open! Sign your farm up through the button below.
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 DigInVT.com and will run until July 1st.
Important Details for Open Farm Week 2020
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 - 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: To effectively plan and produce Open Farm Week, the Vermont Open Farm Week committee starts planning 10 months prior to the event. We’ve calculated the true cost of organizing Open Farm Week at well over $400 per farm. The recommended fee for participation is $50/farm, however this year, we are offering a range of registration fees in an effort to make Open Farm Week accessible to all farms. Please pay what you can. If you choose to pay more, you’re helping to pay for farms that pay less...
Your registration fee goes towards coordination and planning of the week long event, registration management and outreach, DigInVT website promotion, paid digital and radio advertising, print advertising, marketing materials and promotional resources for each farms, technical assistance for on farm events, PR and media coverage, postcard distribution at over 30 events leading up to August, poster distribution across Vermont, out-of-state and in-state marketing and promotion through the many communication channels of the DigInVT committee organizations.
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 full match of $20) 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 via the Open Farm Week registration form.
Technical assistance looks different for every farm. It can be anything from a 15 minute phone call about event marketing, an email conversation about social media promotion, or it can be on-site visit for help to develop a safety plan and to discuss ideas for an event. It is really up to you and it ranges from farm to farm.
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
- Livy Bulger at NOFA-VT: email@example.com or 802-434-4122
- Tara Pereira at Vermont Fresh Network: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-434-2000
Discounts Neighboring farms interested in collaborating and marketing their events together can sign up together and receive a discount - $150 for up to 5 farms.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions: Agritourism on Your Farm and the Law (downloadable FAQ)
Please be in touch with any questions and we look forward to hearing about your events!
The 2020 Open Farm Week Organizing Committee
Livy Bulger, NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association; Lisa Chase, UVM Extension; Sarah Danley and Shane Rogers, Farm to Plate Network; Sara DeFilippi, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing; Alissa Matthews, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; Tara Pereira, Vermont Fresh Network & DigInVT; Carrie Putscher, City Market; Vera Simon-Nobes, Shelburne Farms and Farm-Based Education Network;
Vermont Open Farm Week is made possible by the generous support of media sponsor, Front Porch Forum and the partner organizations below.