Sector Guidance: Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan

The Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan is intended to support Vermont farms that offer pick-your-own opportunities to safely invite customers to their farms. Pick-your-own agricultural producers, including cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, berry farms and orchards, must follow the Agency of Commerce & Community Development’s Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance, including the following:

  1. Mandatory Health & Safety Requirements for all Business, Nonprofit, and Government Operations
  2. Sector Specific Guidance for Retail Operations
  3. The Agency of Agriculture's Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan (Updated September 14, 2020)


A co-presentation offered by NOFA-VT in partnership with Vermont farmers, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and UVM Extension to help growers plan adjustments to their u-pick operations in summer 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What guidance applies to Christmas tree farms?

A. It depends upon the operation’s specific activity.   Importantly, every business is required to follow ACCD’s work safe guidance, so those health and safety requirements apply to all types of business activity.  Please see ACCD’s applicable health and safety requirements at the following link: In addition, more specific guidance applies when it governs a particular business activity.  As an example, a tree farmer follows ACCD’s retail guidance when selling trees.  See And, a tree farmer with a cut-your-own operation follows the Agency’s Pick Your Own (PYO) Restart Plan, which is available here: .  If a tree farmer has another distinct business operation—like a restaurant—then ACCD’s more specific applicable guidance applies to that part of the business.

Q: The guidance reads: “PYO customers are prohibited from areas of the farm not involved in the PYO farm operation.” Does this mean that PYO customers cannot visit my farm stand after picking?

A: No.  The prohibition means customers cannot wander around your farm or visit parts of your farm that are not specifically open to customers. PYO customers may engage in other commercial activities on the property. However, it is important to remember that different guidance applies to different activities. As soon as someone is no longer participating in the PYO operation, different guidance may come into play.

Q: What guidance applies to PYO customers who make their purchases in a farm stand where other food and agriculture products are also regularly sold?

A:  If a farm has a farm stand and also sells its PYO crop through the farm stand, then ACCD’s consumer retail guidance for critical retailers applies to the farm stand.  If the farm either exclusively or separately sells its PYO crop(s), then the Agency’s PYO Restart Plan guidance applies.

Q: What consumer retail guidance applies to critical retailers, such as farm stands and grocery stores?

A: Critical retail businesses must follow the same health, safety, and training requirements as all other businesses, which are outlined in ACCD’s Work Safe Guidance. Critical retailers, such as farm stands and grocery stores, that continued operations under the Stay Home, Stay Safe order do not need to reduce occupancy to continue operating.

Q: Is this mandatory guidance?

A: Yes, it is the expectation that all VT PYO operations will comply with the Executive Order and follow the PYO Restart Plan guidance issued by AAFM.  In some instances, the guidance mandates requirements (usually by using ‘shall,’ ‘must,’ or ‘will’), at other times the guidance indicates best practices and strong preferences (generally by using ‘should’ or ‘preferred’).

More Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us
(802) 585-6225


Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901


Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.522.7811
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431