The Louisiana Agritourism Connection September 2014

Dora Ann Hatch  |  8/30/2014 12:54:45 AM

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 get-away 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 newsletter include: the agritourism limited liability law, workshops around the state, the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival, and the newly amended cottage food industry law.



Agritourism Limited Liability Law Protects Agritourism Operators

In our state, many farmers and ranchers are opening their doors to school groups and special events for family celebrations. In the fall, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and Christmas tree farms receive the most guests. To protect the agritourism professional, in 2008, the Louisiana Legislature passed the Agritourism Limited Liability Law (R.S.9:2795.5) The law’s purpose was to limit the liability of an agritourism professional for injuries that occur through no fault of the agritourism professional. Click here for a complete copy of the law. Throughout the year, workshops around our state explain this law and provide information on how to start, grow and sustain agritourism operations.

Workshops Around the State

Plan now to take advantage of workshops around our state. The LSU AgCenter extension and research stations host workshops throughout the year on a variety of agricultural topics. Information on these workshops can be found on our website www.lsuagcenter.com.

Bayou Bartholomew Outdoor Business Workshop for Landowners in Oak Grove, October 16, 2014

Bayou Bartholomew Workshop for Landowners

Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana landowners will have the opportunity to listen to experts in the field share information on how to use their land for outdoor enterprises. Many of the outdoor enterprises that will be discussed are covered by the 2008 Agritourism Limited Liability Law, which provides protection to agricultural landowners who elect to use their agricultural lands for specific activities. Legal experts, wildlife habitat specialists, local outdoor business owners, and state and federal resource agency specialists will make presentations about the recreational potential for private lands.

Plan now to register for the Thursday, October 16, 2014, workshop that begins at 8 a.m. at the Thomas Jason Lingo Community Center located at 10284 Louisiana Hwy. 17, in Oak Grove, La.

Registration is $25 per person or $30 per couple payable in advance. Make check payable to LSU AgCenter and mail to LSU AgCenter, 195A Community Rd., Oak Grove, LA 71263.

Click here for details.

Agritourism Workshop in Hammond on Thursday, October 31, 2014

Hammond Workshop

Agritourism operators, their employees, landowners interested in agritourism, agricultural industry partners and tourism officials will learn from experts how to start and grow agritourism businesses. Speakers will provide information on the agritourism industry, the agritourism limited liability law, online marketing tools and social media.

After lunch, participants will travel to Mrs. Heather’s Pumpkin Patch and see a real working agritourism operation and learn how she started her thriving business.

Registration fee is $15 per individual or $20 per couple before October 20, 2014, or $20 per individual and $25 per couple the day of the workshop. Make check payable to “LSU AgCenter.” Mail to Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter, 11959 Hwy. 9, Homer, LA 71040.

Click here for a copy of the brochure and agenda. To learn more, contact Sandra Benjamin, LSU AgCenter Tangipahoa Parish county agent, at 985-748-9381 or by email or Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator, at 318-927-9654 x 229  or by email.

Louisiana Women in Agriculture Conference in Napoleonville, Nov. 14, 2014

Join women across Louisiana as they convene in Napoleonville at the LSU AgCenter office located at 119 Robin Street to learn more about their important role in agriculture.

Dr. Mike Strain, commissioner of  Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, will provide the keynote address.

The conference date is Friday, November 14, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $20, which includes lunch. Mail your registration to Angie Fogleman at Acadiana RC&D. Make check payable to “Acadiana RC&D” and send to 703 Thoroughbred Dr., Lafayette, LA 70507. Call 337-262-1776 (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday) with questions.

Master Horseman Program in Baton Rouge Area

Neely Walker, equine specialists with the LSU AgCenter, announced that starting Sept. 22, 2014, the LSU AgCenter will be conducting a Master Horseman program for adults in the Baton Rouge area. The Master Horseman project is designed to improve the overall knowledge and skills of horse people so that they can serve as 4-H leaders. This program consists of eight sessions taught by LSU equine agents and other area leaders. Each 3-to-4-hour session will include horse care and management in a classroom setting, and riding and training in an arena.

This program is designed for all stock horse breeds. A fee of $250 per participant will defray expenses of the program (halter, yacht cord lead rope, loop reins, curb strap, binders, bits, etc.) Volunteers donate their time, so the cost basically goes to equipment and meals.

To learn more about how you can be part of this training, contact Neely Walker by email or phone her at 225-578-5338. Registration for all classes close on Sept.12.

Yellow Rails and Rice Festival Begins Sixth Year

The sixth annual Yellow Rails and Rice Festival is scheduled for Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2014. Designed with fun in mind, its primary goal is to provide participants a unique venue to view yellow rails while at the same time bringing birders and farmers together to realize the value to birds of the area’s “working wetlands.”

Visit the YRARF 2014 events schedule page to see this year’s activities and find links for additional information. Online and mail registration is now open. To be added to our email list for up-to-date YRARF 2014 announcements or to ask for information or inquire about private tours, send email to yellowrailsandrice@gmail.com.

Amended Cottage Food Law for Low-risk Food

Louisiana’s cottage food law Act 542 was amended by House Bill 1270 in the regular session of the Louisiana Legislature in 2014. It allows “low-risk foods” to be sold. Those foods include all of the following, none of which shall consist of any animal muscle protein or fish protein: baked goods (breads, cakes, cookies and pies); candies; dried mixes; honey and honeycomb products; jams, jellies and preserves; pickles and acidified foods; sauces and syrups; and spices.

A label must be affixed to the food products that clearly states that the food was not produced in a licensed or regulated facility. No persons can sell food unless they have applied for or have been issued both a Louisiana General Sales Tax Certificate from the Louisiana Department of Revenue and a local sales tax certificate from the local taxing authority of any jurisdiction in which the seller intends to sell foods. The sales limit has increased to $20,000.

These are just a few of the rules; read the entire law to learn more. To read the new law, click here.

To learn more about agritourism in Louisiana, contact Dora Ann Hatch, LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator, at 318-927-9654 Ext. 229 or email her.
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