We are an NC State University action research team with expertise in rural development through agriculture and tourism.
The project’s purpose is to develop opportunities for farmers to sell produce directly to tourists renting vacation homes. We work with farmers to define the content and delivery of produce bags to vacationers; with realties and tourism authorities to promote the bags; and with internet retail companies to manage sales and disburse payments.
We will form 10 farmer groups earning $130,000 in summer 2021 and $170,000 in summer 2022 with the sale of produce bags to vacationers in 15 VSA destination markets. We build farmer capacity with training and mini-grants to local Extension offices and other eligible nonprofits participating in the VSA program. We will help generate 10 seasonal market coordinator jobs.
The project works with farmer groups from economically depressed counties neighboring popular tourism destinations to tap into those tourism economies.