Skip to main content

Vermont Hosted 56 Countries to Explore the Importance, Value and Concepts of Agritourism

September 3, 2022
Agritourism Workshop Group

September 3, 2022 | Montpelier, VT – After two postponements because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Workshop on Agritourism was finally able to come together in Burlington, Vermont this past week.  Over 500 participants from 56 countries, 44 states and 4 Canadian provinces set a new mark for participation.  350 came to Burlington with the rest joining virtually.  Participants spent three days together sharing and learning about agritourism from all over the world while making trips to experience the amazing farms, food and working lands businesses here in Vermont.

“It was even better than I could have possibly imagined,” said Lisa Chase from the UVM Extension Vermont Tourism Research Center and the main organizer of the gathering. “One participant called it the largest agritourism gathering in the world. I don’t know if that is true, but I believe that it is the most diverse when you consider the geographies represented and the mix of farmers, researchers, tourism professionals, agricultural service providers, policymakers, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and others working in agritourism.”

The Workshop was first held in Italy in 2018, after which Chase led a campaign to bring the next Workshop to Vermont in 2020.  While that campaign was successful and exciting when Vermont was selected, that excitement suddenly paused when the coronavirus pandemic postponed the 2020 Workshop.  Once the battle against Covid entered 2021 with vaccinations available, the decision was made to bring the world to Vermont in the summer of 2022. 

“Thank you to all those who traveled from around the world to meet in Vermont,” said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts.  “The conference will help our region economically as well as help other parts of the world that are focused on growing their agritourism economy. We are grateful for this time together in Vermont and look forward to future partnerships.”

Vermont’s 251 towns all have something to offer the agritourist.  Growers and makers are scattered throughout the hills and valleys of Vermont.  The Workshop provided guidance to many of those present about how to weave those offerings together into something new and significant that builds our state’s rural vitality and spread that mission around the globe.

“Our working lands have always been part of our tourism strategy and agriculture is core to Vermont's identity,” said Mari Omland of Green Mountain Girls Farm and an organizer of the Workshop.  “We can weave them together in a new niche that will reinforce and make a bright future for Vermont's rural population and set a shining example for how the world can accomplish the same.”

Chase offered, “A farmer and community organizer from Uganda said that this conference was life-changing and will have profound impacts on his community back home. I know that is true for many of the participants who traveled to Burlington from far and near.”

“The Workshop reinforces an important aspect of agritourism anywhere in the world that it occurs.  Our farmers and working lands families and businesses exemplify the spirit of sharing in everything that they do for us,” said Heather Pelham, Vermont Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing.  “Sharing their knowledge, experiences, products, and passion with their guests builds understanding and empathy among those who engage in an agritourism experience, while helping grow their bottom line.  We look forward to growing that mission in Vermont and beyond!”

With the success of the Workshop, the positive responses and experiences, excitement now builds for the Workshop to return to Italy in 2024. For more on the Workshop visit:

For imagery from the Workshop visit: