2007 NC State Fair Booth
The 2007 State Fair boasted the highest attendance ever, with 858,611 fairgoers in ten days. The Agritourism Booth measured attendance in two ways - we had 1500 magnets to give away – with the Agritourism logo and website – and we gave away approximately 1300. So, that equates to about 130 a day per family, or refrigerator (so we could keep track of numbers!), or 13 per hour. If you figure 4 people per family, that’s 52 per hour, or 520 per day. That figures out to a minimum of 5200 people who stopped by the booth to see the display and ask questions, and there were many more visistors to the booth who didn’t want magnets!
Another count was through the 70 packages of information on start-up and marketing agritourism farms and the 50 packages on membership in ANA. There are 8 packages remaining of the start-up packages, and about 10 of the ANA membership packages. Six agritourism farmers joined ANA at the fair.
The picture to the left is of ANA member Joy Thomas of SonRise Farm spinning wool on her portable spinning wheel, with ANA members, Tom and Linda Savage of Allied Organic Farm, booth sponsors and volunteers, seen in their red shirts, standing to the side. Joy spent all day the first Saturday spinning wool and talking to folks as she worked.
Many thanks to the following sponsors and volunteers at the State Fair in Raleigh!
Melissa Bentley, Vollmer Farm; Norma Burns, Bluebird Hill Farm; Judy Combs, Mike’s Farm; Milton Ganyard, Ganyard Hill Farm; Pam Griffin, Hector’s Creek Farm; John and Tina Gross, Gross Farm; Ossie and Mary Betty Kearney, Benjamin W. Best Country Inn and Nooherooka Natural Meats; Chuck and Eleanor Lieberman, Swinging Bridge Farm; Vickie and David McKee, McKee Cedar Creek Farm and Nursery; Karen Miller, Denton Farm Park; Carla Peterson, Twiddle Dee Farm; Roger and Brenda Pritchard, Sunny Slopes Farm; Kate Shirley, Humbug Farm; Sam and Levonia Stancil, Triple “S” Ranch; Joy Thomas, SonRise Farm; Tami and David Thompson, Lazy O Farm; Ken Walker, Ken’s Krazy Korn Maze and Produce; Wendy Wilson, Lazy 5 Ranch; Melinda Vaughan, Toms Creek Farm and Nursery; and Andy Zeman, Benjamin Winery and Vineyard. A final big “Thank you!” to NCSU Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management for a $100 sponsorship and to Carol Kline of the PRTM faculty for recruiting students to work shifts at the fair for hands-on experience explaining to visitors about different farms they can tour, and getting class credit as well.
Plans are firming up for a half-day conference at Caraway Conference Center northwest of Asheboro, site of last year’s successful conference attended by 125 ANA members and guests. This year’s conference will begin with a business meeting at which new officers and seven area representatives will be elected, and ANA business will be discussed. The business meeting will be followed by a keynote address by Andrew Branan, Exec. Dir. of the Farm Transition Network, on taxes and zoning, current challenges in the agritourism industry. Two sessions with two workshops each will follow the opening address. After lunch, weather permitting, two farms and a winery are scheduled for farm tours. More information and registration will be coming to you soon. Deadline for registration will be NO LATER THAN JANUARY 1st.
The ANA board recently voted to support five stipends of $300 each for an agritourism symposium in Georgia. Members were notified via email and US mail for those without email to send in their names for a drawing held Monday, October 29, 2007. Congratulations to the winners for the Georgia conference, Nov. 13-14 - Marti Utter, Anne Bisese, Wayne Woosley, and Rita & Mike Stepp.
There is another agritourism meeting in Virginia Dec. 10-11 in Abingdon, and a similar drawing for five $200 stipends will be held for members interested in attending that conference.
A third agritourism conference is scheduled for Jan. 22-24 in Tennessee. A drawing will be held for five winners later in December for $300 each.
Winners will present receipts for expenses, and checks will be mailed to them.