As 2017 comes to a close, I hope that each of you have marked your calendars for our 2018 conference March 5-6 (see more details below). The holidays are certainly a special time to spend with loved ones as well as celebrate the 'Reason of the Season' - Jesus. I pray that each of you feel the wonders of His love this Christmas season. Also as we reflect on this year in agritourism, I thought you all might enjoy reading 'The Farmers Prayer.'
A Farmer's Prayer:
Lord, bless this land you've given me
And may I always know,
As I tend each crop and critter
You're the One who helps them grow.
Grant me the strength and wisdom
Please protect me from all harm,
And thank you, Lord
For your gracious gift...
The blessing of my Farm.
It's that time of year again - time to renew your GAA Membership! All memberships expire on December 31 - log into your account today to renew for 2018! If you have questions or need assistance accessing your online account, send us a quick email.
Registration is now open for the 2018 Georgia Agritourism Annual Conference! This year's conference will be held March 5-6 at Unicoi State Park & Lodge in Helen, GA! Early bird rates are $199 for GAA members and $229 for non-members. Register today!
This year’s Georgia Agritourism Annual Conference is a “must attend” for farmers and ranchers who are currently or potentially agritourism entrepreneurs. Come ready to learn and ready to network! You’ll be spending time with others who share your love of agriculture and diversification into tourism, those who share your challenges and successes, as well as with a larger group of agriculture and tourism professionals, marketing experts, academics and students, resource and service providers, media professionals, and others who support Georgia’s growing agritourism industry.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, share ideas, build new relationships, and discover new services to help you succeed in agritourism. Perhaps most importantly, we have fun together and make valuable new friends. 2018 Conference registration includes the Farm Tour on Monday, Monday Reception and Dinner, Educational Sessions on Tuesday, and Tuesday lunch. Register today!
From our friends at CAES Sustainable Agriculture.....
For many farmers on small and beginning farms, selling produce at the local farmers market or through CSAs is a great way to add to your income while serving consumers who want to purchase locally grown products. The goal is to keep these foods fresh, nutritious and safe. Food safety depends on how the food is grown and handled on the farm, as well as, during transport and at the market. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has resources on food safety best practices for small and very small farms exempt from the Produce Safety Rule and for farmers markets. Click here to read the entire artile and learn more.
Still Pond Vineyard & Winery, located in rural Calhoun County in Southwest Gerogia, is the state's first and only vineyard, winery, and distillery. Still Pond is a third generation family business that gets its name from a natural spring feed pond located on the property. During the Civil war through the end of prohibition, the cool waters of Still Pond were known to produce some of the areas finest “Hooch” or “Moonshine”. Now the water only serves as irrigation for the 180 acres of Muscadine Grapes growing along its banks.
Still Pond Vineyard & Winery currently produces over 30 labels of wine products as well as over 25 labels of distilled products. They offer premium Muscadine wines that have won over 100 awards, including the flagship wine “Notchaway White” which has been named Georgia’s Best Muscadine Wine two years running by the Georgia wine trustees.
The Cowart family says that "Agritourism is the lifeblood of our business as our complete marketing strategy and business model is based on our ability to provide our customer a pleasurable experience while visiting our farm. Without the support of Georgia Agritourism this goal would be extremely hard to accomplish." For more information, visit their website at https://stillpond.com/ .
Several of our GAA members are offering Cut Your Own Christmas trees this holiday season, while others are selling pre-cut trees. Be sure to check out the following if you are in the market for a real tree this year! Berry's Christmas Tree Farm, Spring Brook Farm, Sleepy Hollow Christmas Tree Farm, Southern Belle Farm, Rutland Farms, Yule Forest 155, and Poppell Farms.