The Loudoun Fall Farm Tour is back this year and offers both virtual and in-person options for farms and rural businesses in Loudoun County.
Committing to the in-person tour requires that farms be open and available to the public between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on October 16-17, 2021, while the virtual option can be viewed on LoudounFarms.org from anywhere, any time.
There is no cost to participate, and Loudoun Economic Development will promote all participating farms across its marketing channels. If you are interested in having your farm or rural business appear on this year’s tour, please fill out an application at Biz.Loudoun.Gov/FarmTourApp.
All applications are due by August 18, 2021.
“We are thrilled to offer a return to in-person visits this year after taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19 in 2020. Last year’s virtual Fall Farm Tour gave new farms a chance to participate and showcased Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown products to a global audience. We intend to keep that opportunity for farms this year while encouraging consumers to shop from your online stores and support local farming,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “We have some exciting new features planned for this year’s tour and can’t wait to announce them to the public later this fall.”
The Loudoun Fall Farm Tour began in 1993 when it was called the “Loudoun Colors Tour,” intended to showcase the leaf change in Loudoun. Since then, it has grown into a business-centric event, annually drawing thousands of residents and visitors from all over the D.C. region.
Farms offering in-person experiences tend to do well on the tour, such as corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple presses and other seasonal activities.
Most virtual tour participant farms are also part of the Loudoun Made Loudoun Grown Marketplace, an e-commerce platform launched during the pandemic to help connect consumers with products sourced directly from local farms.
All Loudoun farms are encouraged to join the Marketplace, where 100% of all sales go directly to the farm and all monthly enrollment fees are paid by Loudoun Economic Development.
“Any Loudoun farm selling local products would benefit from joining the Loudoun Made Loudoun Grown Marketplace, which is designed to save you time, without hidden fees, and make your products available to shoppers any time,” Loudoun Business Development Officer for Agricultural and Business Services John Magistro said. “Our team offers no-cost help to onboard your storefront, market your products, and drive sales for your business. Pairing the Marketplace with the Fall Farm Tour is a great way to build your customer base today.”
According to the most recent Ag Census from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Loudoun is home to more than 1,200 commercial farms, with many thousands of businesses operating on those properties.
Loudoun’s renowned wine, equine and wedding industries are the backbone of a robust tourism industry that was worth nearly $2 billion in annual economic activity, pre-pandemic. Loudoun is also a leader in beer and hops production, llamas and alpacas, honeybees and honey production.
Loudoun’s farms are also representative of Loudoun’s diversity, with more women-, Latino-, Hispanic- and Asian-owned farms than anywhere else in Virginia. Loudoun also leads the Commonwealth in farms owned by military veterans.
To participate in the Loudoun Fall Farm Tour, please fill out an application at Biz.Loudoun.Gov/FarmTourApp before August 18, 2021.