The Louisiana Agritourism Connection April 2015

Dora Ann Hatch  |  4/8/2015 9:11:46 PM

Agritourism

Agritourism, a business venture on a working farm, ranch or agricultural enterprise, is growing in popularity throughout the United States. Agritourism blends entertainment, education and tourism together to provide a fun, exciting and memorable getaway for school trips and family outings. This website provides educational resources to assist new and existing entrepreneurs in developing, expanding and improving their agritourism ventures.

In This Edition

Topics covered in this edition include: WesMar Farms inclusion in National Geogrpahic’s Gulf Coast map guide, information on home food sales, beekeeper’s inclusion in the Agritourism Limited Liability Law, workshop dates for Annie’s Project, American with Disabilities Act compliance, home gardening tips from LSU AgCenter, horticultural tips from LSU AgCenter and links to marketing sites.

WesMar Farms Added to National Geographic Gulf Coast Geotourism Map Guide

Congratulations to Wes and Marguerite Constantine for garnering a spot on the National Geographic Gulf Coast Geotourism Map Guide. Their goat dairy is located in Moureville, and now people from all over the world will have an opportunity to visit since WesMar Farms will be included in many publications targeting Louisiana as a tourism destination. To learn more about the award and their farm, click here.

Home Preparers Can Sell Up to $20,000 in Low-risk Foods

In 2014, the Louisiana legislature amended LA R.S. 40:4.9 to allow home preparers to sale up to $20,000 in low-risk foods. "Low-risk food" are identified in the law as the following:

(1) Baked goods, including breads, cakes, cookies, and pies.

(2) Candies.

(3) Cane syrup.

(4) Dried mixes.

(5) Honey and honeycomb products.

(6) Jams, jellies, and preserves.

(7) Pickles and acidified foods.

(8) Sauces and syrups.

(9) Spices.

All low-risk foods prepared in the home for sale shall affix a label, which clearly indicates that the food was not produced in a licensed or regulated facility.

The home preparer must apply for (a) Louisiana General Sales Tax Certificate from the Louisiana Department of Revenue and (b) a local sales tax certificate from the local taxing authority of any jurisdiction in which he intends to sell foods.

Beekeeping Now Included as an Agritourism Activity under the Agritourism Limited Liability Law

The Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has approved adding beekeepers to the list of approved agritourism activities covered under the Agritourism Limited Liability Law passed in 2008. For a copy of the law, click here.

Annie’s Project Coming to Natchitoches in April; Registration deadline April 13

Annie’s Project is designed by agricultural women for women who have or hope to have a business in agriculture.

The five-week class will be held each Thursday night beginning April 16 running through May 14 from 5-8:30 p.m. in room 213 in Russell Hall on the Northwestern State University campus.

Each Thursday evening three speakers will address one of the following topics: risk assessments, human factors in farming, grain marketing, insurance for family and farm business, crop insurance, farm programs, farm transition planning, financial statement, farm tax issues and accounting, legal issues, retirement planning and business planning.

Registration deadline is April 13. Cost for the class is $75 payable at registration.

For more information contact:

Deborah Cross-Young, State Coordinator, at dcross@agcenter.lsu.edu or 225-281-9470.

Angie Fogleman, president, Acadiana RC&D, at angie@acadianarcd.com or 337-262-1776.

Twin Valley RC&D at tvrcd@bellsouth.net or 318-352-4946

Americans with Disabilities Act; Is your Farm Ready?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides that people with disabilities have equal opportunity in employment, transportation, commercial facilities and accommodation in public places. Businesses must comply. If a farm offers events open to the public, go online and read the ADA Guide for Small Businesses, or call the Department of Justice’s toll-free hotline at 800-514-0301 with questions. If you need more assistance, contact The Small Business Administration (SBA).

LSU AgCenter’s Home Garden Series Available Online

Dr. Charlie Johnson, Dr. Ron Strahan and Dr. Kathryn Fontenot recently wrote a new series of home garden publications. They include information on starting vegetable transplants, building raised beds, managing weeds in the vegetable garden and determining when to harvest spring and fall vegetable crops. These easy-to-follow publications are great for beginning gardeners, home and backyard gardeners, school gardens and even 4-H projects. Click here to learn more.

Horticultural Helps from the LSU AgCenter

Check out the online guides below by clicking here on the LSU AgCenter’s home gardening page. Publications may also we ordered. The list of publications includes:

Louisiana Home Vegetable Gardening.

Louisiana Insect Pest Management Guide.

Louisiana Suggested Chemical Weed Management Guide.

The Pest Ants of Louisiana: A Guide to Their Identification, Biology, and Control.

Louisiana Home Citrus Production. 

Plant Disease Management Guide.

Marketing

Taking out ads in the local newspaper and posting flyers in your community are always good marketing tools, but there may be a way to market with less effort. Over the past few years, three websites – MarketMaker, Local Harvest, Pick-Your-Own – have become popular with consumers.

MarketMaker, available in Louisiana and other states, is an online tool that connects producers and consumers. More than 150 Louisiana producers are registered, along with 145 farmers markets and roadside stands. The website also can be useful for consumers – including individuals, restaurants and retail stores – who are seeking produce, meat, dairy products, seafood, farmers markets, roadside stands, grocery stores and restaurants.

It serves as a central clearinghouse for locating agricultural and seafood products in Louisiana. The best news is that it is a free service. Click here to learn more.

Local Harvest is a directory of farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food offered for sale. The website includes opportunities to promote your farm, Community Supported Agriculture venture or farmers market.

There is no charge to create a listing for your farm, CSA or farmers market. Your listing can include a photo of your operation. Space is also provided for a short description about the produce and products you offer for sale. Click here to read more.

Although it is free, donations are welcomed. A suggested donation is $25 a year. If a vendor creates an online store, Local Harvest charges a 15% commission on items sold.

Pick-Your-Own is a free service that provides the same advantages of the MarketMaker and Local Harvest websites. The website also contains added information for the grower.

Marketing is crucial to your success, so I recommend that you market on all three.

Topics covered in this edition include: WesMar Farms included  in National Geogrpahic Gulf Coast map guide, information on home food sales, beekeepers inclusion in the Agritourism Limited Liability Law, workshop dates for Annie’s Project, American with Disabilities Act compliance, home gardening tips from LSU AgCenter, horticultural tips from LSU AgCenter and links to marketing sites.
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