GAA Annual Conf

Engage, Grow, Learn

2014 Georgia Agritourism Annual Conference education sessions will engage you in topics designed to propel your business forward – from legislative issues impacting your tax credits to ways to enhance the offerings of your operation. Interact and engage with the state’s newest, oldest, and most successful agritourism destinations which are today’s industry decision-makers and tomorrow’s game changers.

Monday, March 31, 2014
10:00 a.m.  Registration Opens
    The Atrium
10:30 a.m.  Agritourism Farm Tour Buses Depart
    Tour agritourism operations in north east Georgia. Hear from some of Georgia’s finest agritourism operators and staff, experience their facilities and activities, and glean ideas that just might work for you.
     Farm Tours Sponsored and Coordinated by:
    2014 Agritourism Farm Tour: 
     Moon Farms
     Russ Moon
     Moon River Lane, Danielsville, GA
    U-Pick Strawberries & Blackberries, Roadside Market, Cattle, Wheat, Soybeans, Canola 
    Jaemor Farms at Banks Crossing 
     Drew Echols and Daphe Echols Crumley
    40081 U.S. 441, Commerce, GA 30529 
     Tour New Market
     Lunch Sponsored by:
     Nadine’s Classic Cuisine
    Nadine Wardenga 
     Crow’s Lake 
    Tom Crow 
     155 Crows Lake Drive, Jefferson, GA
    Catfish Farm, Group Facilities
    Rancho Alegre Farm 
     Pilar Quintero
    2225 Givens Road, Dacula, GA
    Venue & Event Facilities, Dairy, Located in Gwinnett County
4:00 p.m.  Agritourism Farm Tour Buses Return
5:15 p.m.  Opening Reception and Silent Auction
    The Atrium
6:30 p.m.  Georgia Agritourism Association Annual Membership Meeting
    The Parthenon 2                                           
7:00 p.m.  Experience Athens Dining and Night Life Athens on Your Own
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
7:00 a.m.  Registration Opens
    The Atrium
7:30 a.m.  Breakfast with Exhibitors
    The Atrium
8:30 a.m.  Welcome
    Jeff Manley, President, Georgia Agritourism Association
    Educational Session – How CUVA Can Work for You
    Grand Hall 1, 2 & 3
    Moderator: Brandon Ashley, Commodities Specialist, Georgia Farm Bureau
    Overview of CUVA
    Learn about CUVA, why it’s important to your Agritourism Operation, as well as the benefits and pitfalls of the program.
    Agritourism Operator Experiences with CUVA and Local County Tax Assessors
    Many operators have found ways to work with their County Tax Assessors to create a harmonious relations while others fight a constant uphill battle. Hear about the good and the bad from 2 agritourism operators.
    The Georgia Agritourism Association is Here to Help
    The GA Agritourism Association has been very active with fellow agricultural organizations in defending CUVA and agritourism operators and working with local County Tax Assessors.
    Defining Agritourism with Education, Not Legislation
    The Georgia Department of Agriculture is writing a ‘white paper’ to help define Agritourism for regulatory bodies that just don’t get it.
    Panel Discussion for Questions and Answers
10:10 a.m.  Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
    The Atrium
    Silent Auction – Bid High!
10:40 a.m.  Educational Session – Food Service and Food Products on the Farm
    Grand Hall 1, 2 & 3
    Moderator: Sarah Cook, Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, Special Projects Coordinator
    Agritourism Operators’ Share Their Stories
    Whether you have 100 customers or 100,000 customers every year, offering food menu items and/or creating food products from your farm is on your mind.  Learn from their experiences of beginning to offer food service, what worked from them, why a going ‘beyond the burger’ works, and the “learning curves” you can avoid.
    The Georgia Cottage Food Program
    Did you know you could make certain foods your home or small kitchen for sale to the end consumer? Find out how the Georgia Department of Agriculture is working to make things easier for you.
    What You Need to Know About a Co-Packer
    Creating private label food products is a great way to utilize any extra harvested items from your farm. Before you find yourself up to your eyeballs in harvested product and wondering how to turn it into profit such as a jam or salsa, find how a co-packer can help and what you need to know before you contact them.
    Develop Food Products Beyond Your Operation
    Discover the services available through the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness to help you create your own products for sell beyond your operation’s shelves. Work with experts to find co-packers, bottling companies, labels, etc. to begin diversifying your food products.
    Panel Discussion for Questions and Answers
12:15 p.m.  Lunch with Roundtable Discussions
    The Atrium
    Make the most of every minute at the GA Agritourism Annual Conference by networking with agritourism operators from across the state. Ask your questions in a small, intimate setting while enjoying lunch.
1:15 p.m.  Silent Auction Closes
    Educational Session – Draw a Crowd on Your Farm
    Grand Hall 1, 2 & 3
    Not Every Field Trip is Created Equal
    Teachers are always wanting to create applied learning experiences for their students and what better way than on YOUR operation. However, gone are the days of hosting kids for a day of fun. See how one organization has created easy communication and “standards-based” field trips associated with Georgia Department of Education curriculum has increased their traffic and increased their reach.
    Considering a Zip Line?
    Zip lines are growing in popularity but are they here to stay? When considering if you are ready for a ‘rapid transport across the farm at elevated heights’ otherwise known as a zip line, these guys can help you think through your space, design, liabilities and any regulations that may be looming.
    How Can Sponsoring a Non-Profit on Your Farm Actually Help You?
    Discounted rates, donating a percentage of profits, lots of extra people…is sponsoring a non-profit event on your farm really worth it? Hear about it from the agritourism operator and non-profit organization.
    Diversify by Adding a CSA
    At the heart of agritourism is inviting the public onto a working farm to create a positive experience and hopefully educate them as to where their food and fiber comes from. Adding a CSA could be another avenue to utilize your land and raise some funds while meeting an ever-growing demand for fresh, locally grown products.
    Panel Discussion for Questions and Answers
2:30 p.m.  Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
    The Atrium
3:00 p.m.  Educational Session – Marketing: If You Build It, Will They Really Come?
    Grand Hall 1, 2 & 3
    What Could Your Operation and the Hit TV Show “The Walking Dead” Have in Common?
    Find out how the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Tourism Division can help you grow and promote your business nationally…including allowing TV, movie, and photojournalist professionals on your farm for their next project. Senoia doesn’t have to be the only place in Georgia to cash in on TV and other media!
    Georgia Grown Agritourism Signage Program and How They Can Work
    What is more Georgia Grown than fun on a farm? Find out how you get signage and “traffic” with the Agritourism Sign program offered through the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
    Marketing that Works: Fliers to Email to National TV
    Agritourism Operators share their experiences of how they got started from the ground up in getting the word out and getting the people through the gate.
    Panel Discussion for Questions and Answers
4:30 p.m.  Wrap Up and Announcements
5:00 p.m.  The Horse Heads Toward the Barn/Adjourn

Click to register online now!