Do you sell your maple products or give tours at your sugarhouse? Is your sugarbush open for hiking? Thinking about it, but not sure? Join us for a discussion about marketing, safety, liability, and other considerations. We’ll share information (and let you know how to get free signs) for Maple 100, Open Farm Week, and the new agritourism limited liability statute – and we’ll make time for a round robin about what would be most helpful for your sugaring operation.
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Agritourism plays two important roles. First, it educates the public about farming and their local food system. Second, it supports farmers by increasing sales opportunities and building a loyal customer base. The term encompasses an array of on-farm attractions, events, or services. Events can take a simple Ð and limited Ð form such participating in a stateÕs maple weekend. Or it can be as complex as opening a restaurant. Agritourism includes anything from school field trips, to B&Bs, to pick-your-own, and wine tastings. Sometimes fun, sometimes educational, sometimes both, the common threads are connection and experience.
Maple and the maple industry are synonymous with Vermont with its sugar houses and mountain sides with colorful leaves in the fall. The maple industry, beyond producing maple products, contribute to the image of Vermont and to its tourism. This report focuses on the economic contribution of the maple production supply chain from equipment manufacturing, equipment sales, installation to sugaring, packing and production of maple products. Though putting a dollar amount on the contribution of the maple industry to tourism in Vermont would be a complex task, and beyond the scope of this report, the contribution is likely very significant.