2016 Georgia Agritourism Annual Conference          

Raising a New Crop

February 23 – February 24  |  Berry College  |  Rome, GA


Conference & Education Agenda
Unless specified, all activities will take place in the Spruill Ballroom, Krannert Center, Berry College, Rome, GA

 * denotes an unavailable PowerPoint


7:00 a.m.           Registration Opens
                                Breakfast on your own

                                Silent Auction Open  

                                Mingle with Exhibitors

8:00 a.m.          Welcome                             

EDUCATION:  Taxes & Local Issues
As soon as money is to be made or tax exemptions can be applied, regulatory organizations and red tape become your reality. Come learn about the GA Dept of Revenue audits and some basic sales tax issues that may help you stay out of the hot seat. Georgia’s Conservation easement program, CUVA, is often the way families can afford their legacy land but everyone must have a working knowledge of the do’s and don’t’s to avoid fines and penalties. Elected officials can often be found affecting the interpretation and application of the “red tape”. Come learn join the discussion on how to work along side your elected officials whether you are on the same side or different sides.

Update on Georgia Department of Revenue Audits, Sales Tax Application - Beth Oleson, Exec Director, GA Agritourism Assoc.

CUVA Overview - Bob Izlar, Director of Harley Langdale Center for Forest Business, Warnell School of Forestry, Univ. of Georgia

Working with Local Elected Officials - Kevin Payne, Floyd County Tax Commissioner *

10:15 a.m.       Morning Break with Exhibitors

10:45 a.m.       EDUCATION:  Special Events on Your Farm

More and more people are finding their local agritourism operations and enjoying the interaction of the outdoors, their food, and their local farmer. But like any consumer-driven industry, people eventually want more experiences and more reasons to come to your farm. Find ways to diversify your farm’s potential and get more people through your barn doors by learning from other operations what you could offer to entertain and educate adults, families and community groups.

Canning Classes - Caroline Black Lewallen, Jaemor Farms & Katie Heirs, Clarke County UGA Cooperative Extension

Using Property for More than Just Crops  - Barry Pritchett, Red Apple Barn

Festivals 101 - Rita Douglas, Ottawa Farms *

12:00 p.m.      Lunch with Exhibitors

Silent Auction Open

1:00 p.m.           EDUCATION:  Liability Issues

While fun, loving, oblivious consumers on a working farm usually equate to outdoor fun, it can also open a door to unintentional injuries and lawsuits. Make sure    you are protected.

Safety, Liability, and Insurance for Agritourism - Joey Shipp & Doug Oliver, Farm Risk Managers, Georgia Farm Bureau

Legal Protections for Agritourism - Nowell Berreth, Alston Bird, LLP

2:00 p.m.         EDUCATION:  Hot Topics – Food and Beverage

After polling GAA Members, the number one hot topic of interest was serving and producing alcohol on farms and on-farm concessions. No, doubt two of the most visible organizations doing those well are here to share their secrets.

Alcohol Production on the Farm - David Lillard, Mercier Orchards

On Farm Concessions - Jake Carter, Southern Belle Farms

3:00 p.m.       Afternoon Break with Exhibitors

Brochure Swap – Attendees bring your brochures to swap with other operators. Get great ideas and use it as a networking tool.

3:30 p.m.      EDUCATION:  Hot Topics – Best You-Pick Practices and Overnight Lodging

After polling GAA Members, the next most asked for topics were…

Best You-Pick Practices - Jeff Manley, The Rock Ranch *

Overnight Lodging Considerations - Jenni Harris, White Oak Pastures

4:30 p.m.         GAA Annual Membership Meeting

5:30 p.m.         Reception and Dinner @ Ford Dining Hall

Help commemorate the 5th anniversary of the official creation of the Georgia Agritourism Association during our reception and dinner.  Special speakers will set the stage to celebrate the agritourism industry and its dedicated association.

9:00 p.m.      Hospitality Suite Open - Comfort Suites, 23 Chateau Drive, SE, Rome, GA

7:00 a.m.          Registration Opens
                              Breakfast on your own

Silent Auction Open

Mingle with Exhibitors

8:00 a.m.         EDUCATION:  Marketing and Social Media

Bring your laptop (or pen and notepad to take notes) to set up or enhance your listing with the GDoED – Tourism. Learn new marketing and social media techniques to draw consumers. 

Maximize - Lindsay Isaacs, & Vickie Sanders, Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, Tourism Division

Social Media Marketing Techniques - 
Cameron Jordan, Director of E-Communications, Berry College

10:30 a.m.       Morning Break with Exhibitors

10:45 a.m.       Silent Auction Closes

EDUCATION:  Berry Deer Research Related to Human-Wildlife Interactions
Beyond the beauty of the campus and the Berry family, one of the most noted parts of Berry College is the Deer Research program. Dr George Gallagher, Chair of Berry Dept of Animal Science, has a unique approach to his deer research which include the physiology and behavior of wildlife. Like most concepts in life, the presence of wildlife can represent both assets and liabilities depending upon circumstances to individuals as well as business enterprises. The Agritourism industry in Georgia represents a business niche in a very unique position to extensively capitalize, or suffer from human-wildlife interactions.

Wildlife Economics-White Tail Deer - Dr. George Gallagher, Dana Profession and Chair, Dept of Animal Science, Berry College

11:15 a.m.         Conference Wrap Up & Round Table

Round table discussion surrounding YOUR take away’s from the Conference, what you plan to implement in the future, and what you would like to see in the future of GAA.

Noon                     Adjourn – Drive Home Safely!