Vermont Online Guide Helps Farms Adapt to Covid-19 ChangesFebruary 12, 2021
University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the staff at Vermont Fresh Network and DigInVT have released a new guide to help agritourism businesses navigate COVID-19 regulations to remain viable by prioritizing the health and safety of their customers and communities. See the press release below for more information.
For Immediate Release:
Vermont Online Guide Helps Farms Adapt to Covid-19 Changes
Technical assistance guide helps farms navigate on farm agritourism operations
(Richmond, Vermont): Throughout the pandemic, many Vermont farms open to visitors have quickly transitioned their operations to provide safe, contactless sales and encourage safe outdoor activities on the farm such as u-pick berries and apples, walking trails and grab-and-go picnics.
To help agritourism businesses navigate COVID-19 regulations to remain viable by prioritizing the health and safety of their customers and communities, University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the staff at Vermont Fresh Network and DigInVT have released a new guide. It is available online at UVM and at DigInVT.com.
"Our job at UVM Extension is to help farms meet COVID-19 standards, so they can continue to provide fresh food and outdoor recreation while keeping their farms and visitors safe during the pandemic," explains UVM Extension professor Lisa Chase. "This guide will serve as a hub to access up-to-date information regarding health and safety for farms open to visitors."
"Over the last year there has been a lot of instability in the food and farm tourism sector. This resource guide can help farms navigate the new reality in many ways," says Vermont Fresh Network Executive Director, Tara Pereira. "It offers guidance on managing customer capacity and increased traffic due to direct sales through farm stands, as well as helpful communication and marketing strategies, and includes many resources that are valuable to farms that incorporate agritourism into their daily operations."
Supported by a grant from the UVM Office of Engagement, the guide outlines best management practices and provides links to resources for health and safety requirements, including proper sanitation practices, guidelines for farmers markets and training of employees on new COVID-19 procedures and policies. It also covers ways to increase direct sales through farm stands and curbside pickup, manage the number and flow of customers, develop on-line sales and offer drive-through or virtual farm tours.