Serving the interest of agriculture, health and nutrition, communities, families, and economic development, agriculture plays an important part in each of these already but we can take strategic steps to enhance opportunities both for the businesses and consumers by providing information and targeted education as well as networking for those looking to expand an agritourism business or develop one from the ground up. To meet this need in the region the University of Illinois Extension developed the four-part Northwest Illinois Agritourism Series.
The first class of the series, Introduction to Agritourism will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, October 25, in the lower level of the Lena Community Center, 497 Lions Drive, Lena. This class will discuss the many possibilities that agritourism has to offer and will be led by Extension Educator and Times contributor Grant McCarty.
Agritourism Tour and Roundtable Discussion will be the second class of the series with a tour of Wishful Acres Farm and Brewery, 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 15, at Wishful Acres Brewery, 4679 N. Flansburg Road, Lena. The evening will conclude with a roundtable discussion led by McCarty.
Risk Management and Rules and Regulations for Agritourism Businesses will be the third class of series and will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 30, at the Stockton Public Library, 140 W Benton Ave., Stockton. Deb Brown from Ag and Small Business Services will present information about managing risk in your agritourism business. McCarty will share with participants the rules and regulations within the State of Illinois regarding businesses of this type.
Marketing for Agritourism will be the last class of the series and will delve into the many avenues of marketing. Held 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, January 24, in the lower level of the Lena Community Center. This class will be led by Marilyn Smit of M45 Marketing Services and Connie Sorn of the Stephenson County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Each class is $10 or $30 for the entire series. Pre-registration is required and can be completed by calling the University of Illinois Extension Stephenson County at 815-235-4125, University of Illinois Extension Jo Daviess County at 815-858-2273 or on-line at web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw.
–U of I Extension