Presidential Postings –
The ANA Conference agenda and registration form for “Taking Local Beyond the Farm” will be on the Agritourism Office website by the time you see this. A registration brochure will go out around December 1, and deadline for early bird registration is Thursday, February 3, 2011 – two weeks before the conference. Conference registration is $70 per ANA member, and $85 for non-members who are welcome to join before December 31.
Room arrangements are a little different this year, as the room rate depends on how many folks stay in each ‘villa.’ The villas contain two bedrooms with baths on either side of a common living room and full kitchen. Room rates range from $110 for one person using the entire villa to $28 each for four persons rooming together. All reservations will be made through Martha Glass. She will work with you to help you get the best rate possible. All rates include taxes and are rounded off to the nearest whole dollar. You may make arrangements to room with others and include total payment with your registration. You’ll just need to let Martha know who is rooming together.
There will be three optional tours we can take Thursday afternoon and storytelling entertainment by farmer Jeff Darnell Thursday evening after the wine and cheese reception. You are cordially invited to attend the ANA Board meeting which starts around 8:30 pm.
Friday morning, promptly at 8 a.m., the business meeting will start. We will elect 2011 officers and the districts will caucus to choose district directors for 2011. The current board can serve another year, with the exception of the following who go off the board as their two-year terms are up: Lea Thompson, treasurer, who resigned in September -Tami Thompson, former SE District Director is filling in for her; Sam Thompson, North Central Dist. Dir.; Reba McInnis, West Central Dist. Dir.; and Barbara Harrell and Bill Young, both West Dist. Dirs.
If you are interested in serving as an officer or as one of the new district directors, please let me know. Also, I will be contacting those Board members who have another year left in their terms to determine if they want to serve in 2011. My email is email@example.com.
After the business meeting adjourns, the program day will start. We have two speakers, well known in the sustainable/local foods world, who will bring us information on how to market our farms and farm products beyond the boundaries we are currently using for marketing. Dr. Nancy Creamer, NCSU Distinguished Professor, will talk about “Marketing the Local Food Movement,” and Tim Will, Executive Director of Foothills Connect Business and Technology Center, will speak on “Where Can We Go From Here?”
The first workshop will be for all attendees, and the remaining six will be concurrent. A trade show for vendors and exhibitors may attract a record number of folks. If you are interested in being a sponsor, exhibiting from your farm, or having vendor space, the Trade Show and Sponsor application can be printed from www.ncagr.gov/agritourism, the Agritourism Office website.
Plan to attend the 5th Anniversary ANA Annual Winter Conference. I can assure you that you will be glad you did!
Volunteers Needed to Help with Conference Fun!
The ANA Conference Silent Auction was a big hit last year, and we can do it again this year. Volunteers are needed to help Vicki Sundberg, ANA Vice President. Items will be on display in the Trade Show room. If you’re interested, you can contact Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 910-253-5612. Funds from the Silent Auction will go toward membership education & scholarships to attend workshops and conferences.
Sponsors Welcome for ANA Conference
ANA welcomes continued and new Sponsor support for the conference. The money raised through Sponsor donations helps with conference costs and the six district workshop costs. ANA is an unincorporated non-profit with a Federal ID. All contributions are gratefully acknowledged at the conference and are tax deductible. See www.ncagr.gov/agritourism.
Trade Show Expecting Many Exhibitors and Vendors
This year’s Trade Show at Little River Golf & Resort is expected to be the largest yet. New enticements for Ten Year and Five Year members include not paying a trade show fee as a vendor. The Trade Show information and application can be found on the Agritourism Office website, www.ncagr.gov/agritourism.
NC Agritourism Farm Roadside Sign Program Off to Good Start
The following information is on the Agritourism webpage. Thanks to our ANA District Directors who have been meeting with applicants at the site visits. This has been a great way for members to meet other members! Any ANA member who would like to do site visits is welcome to join this effort by contacting Martha Glass at email@example.com. You will be reimbursed for mileage at 40 cents per mile round trip. Directions for completing a site visit are available. These are informal, friendly visits to confirm farm safety and educational criteria that the applicant agrees to abide by to set an example as a model agritourism farm for others and attract visitors. The picture of the sign is below, and information is on the Agritourism Office website.
The Goodness Grows program now welcomes agritourism farms because your Goodness Grows product is the "farm experience." Signs are on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your applications in soon! Visitors can ‘stay an hour, or stay the day’ at your agritourism destination, enjoy a farm experience, and take home a memory.
Every farm on the Agritourism General Store website, visitncfarms.com, that is not a member of ANA received a letter about the farm sign program and an ANA membership brochure. It was made clear that membership was not required to purchase the signs. There have been several new memberships as a result.
Agritourism Networking Association Hits New High Numbers in Membership
There are currently 312 ANA members in 2010! Two members, Gaetano Siano, Mast Farm Inn, and Diane Cornett Deal, Cornett Deal Christmas Tree Farm & Songbird Cabin, both paid $175 and became Ten Year members. Five Year members are Robert Cox, Burlington/Alamance CVB; Betty Garland, Garland Truffles; Lenna Hobson, RagApple Lassie Vineyards; Byrd Isom, Millstone Creek Orchards; Dorcas and Rick Parker, Mary L Farm; Sam Rogers, Carolina Field Trips Magazine; Gail Smith, I. L. M. Smith Farm & Produce; and Ed and Sheila Spence, Spence Family Farm. Active members who do not have email receive our most important information by US mail.
Registration for the ANA conference for Five and Ten Year members is reduced to $35, half the member registration fee of $70.
As of October 28, there were 262 Active members and 50 Sponsor members. New members include 52 new Active members, or 20% of our new members, and 29 new Sponsor members, or 59% of new Sponsor members! This certainly shows that many farmers across the state are learning about ANA and want to be a part of our organization as well as a large number of ‘rural tourism supporters’ who are attracted to the benefits of ANA membership.
Short Economic Survey Sent to Members
The Agritourism Office recently sent out a short economic survey to members to help determine how members are doing during this recession. A summary will be available at the ANA conference, and will be sent out via the ANA list serve after the conference. It is confidential. Only areas of the state and the number of individual counties responding will be listed.
Please send the information below in the survey back to Martha Glass at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be helping NCDA&CS leaders see that your interest and participation in agritourism is a very important economic engine for farmers. Please send the information back by December 31, 2010. Thanks!
___ Yes, I have seen an increase in visitors in 2010. Approximate %age _____
___ No, my business has not seen an increase in the number of visitors in any significant amount.
___ Yes, my agritourism income has increased from 2009. Approximate %age _____
___ No, I haven’t had significant increase in income. It’s about the same as 2009.
I live in the Coastal ____ / Piedmont ____ / Mountain ____ area of NC in ________County
Comments on the state of your agritourism business:
Suggestions for ANA to improve marketing assistance:
NAFDMA Meets in Baltimore February 4 – 10, 2011 – Glass to Moderate Session
Martha Glass, ANA Executive Director, has been invited to moderate an all-day workshop, “Agritourism 101,” on Wednesday, February 9, at the annual North American Farmers Direct Marketing and Agritourism Association winter conference in Baltimore. Andrew Gillis is to give a presentation at that workshop titled “Natural and Inexpensive” on how Gillis Hill Farm began operations in 2006 and has ‘grown’ its success since then. Glass is also a member of the 2011 Conference Program Planning Committee.
Members can register for the three-day educational bus tour of farms in the Philadelphia-Baltimore-Virginia area, for the three-day educational sessions, or both. Membership is required to attend the conference, with information at www.nafdma.com. Check out the website for great information free to anyone.