Loudoun’s 2014 Fall Farm Tour Preparations Underway; Farmers Invited to Participate

On October 18 and 19, the gates and barns of Loudoun County, Virginia farms will open to the public for the annual Fall Farm Tour. Any farmers interested in participating in this year’s event should apply on the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development’s website at biz.loudoun.gov/farmtourapp. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. on July 18, 2014.

All types of rural businesses are encouraged to apply. Past Fall Farm Tours have offered the public opportunities to visit orchards and pick their own produce; sample wines, artisanal cheeses and other fresh, locally produced food; interact with horses, sheep, alpacas and chickens; and learn how to grow healthy plants and flowers at organic gardens.

The goal of the Fall Farm Tour is to raise awareness of Loudoun-grown products and the county’s vibrant agricultural community. Every year, more tourists and visitors interested in experiencing local culture, tasting farm products, and learning about the unique farms and environment of the county take part in the tour on the third weekend of October.

“Because so many of our farmers work long hours, it’s difficult to host many small, individual tours,” says Loudoun Agricultural Development Officer Kellie Hinkle. “The Fall Farm Tour offers visitors a chance to see working farms in operation, in all their different aspects.”

Economic Development Director Buddy Rizer explained, “This is a great showcase for our thriving rural economy. Our goal is to continue to grow the estimated $69 million it already contributes to Loudoun County.”

Brochures for the Fall Farm Tour, including a map and directions to all participating farms, will be available at Loudoun County libraries and community centers, and at Visit Loudoun in Leesburg. Detailed tour information will also be online at www.loudounfarms.org.

Farmers with questions should contact Rural Marketing Manager Susan VanEpps at 703-777-0426, or at susan.vanepps@loudoun.gov.

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