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News Notes

  • An organization called Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) offers a list of organic farms around the world that provide room and board to volunteers who work three to six hours a day at unskilled tasks. Volunteers pay only their travel costs to and from farms, and must make their own arrangements with farmers. To receive the farm list, participants must join either the international WWOOF organization or the WWOOF organization in the country where they want to work. Costs for joining vary between $10 and $20 in participating countries.
  • To find out more about becoming a WWOOFer, access the WWOOF International web site athttp://www.phdcc.com/sites/wwoof/index.html. The site lists all countries with WWOOF organizations, and includes an application for those interested in adding their organic farms to the WWOOF list athttp://www.phdcc.com/sites/wwoof/hostapp.html. Mailing addresses: WWOOF International, P.O. Box 2675, Lewes BN7 1RB, England, UK. To receive a list of U.S. farms involved in WWOOFing, contact NEWOOF USA, New England Small Farm Institute, P.O. Box 608, Belchertown, MA, 01007; (413) 323-4531.
  • The California Division of Tourism a variety of options to farmers who want to advertise their agri-tourism activities. To find out about advertising your agri-tourism venture in the California Division of Tourism Regional Visitor's Guides, contact California Tourism Publications, 19600 Fairchild Road, Suite 260, Irvine, CA 92715; (949) 833-9002. To place advertising information in California Welcome Centers throughout the state, contact your area welcome center or local chamber of commerce for more information. The California Division of Tourism's California Countryside Grants enable the eight rural regions of California to promote their regions. These regions include the North Coast, Shasta Cascade, Gold Country, High Sierra, Deserts, Inland Empire, Central Valley, and Central Coast. Although individuals cannot receive these funds, you can find out if your rural region is developing a tourism project in which your farm can participate. For information, call Eileen Hook, rural tourism liaison, at the California Division of Tourism, (916) 322-1266.
  • What do California visitors like to do? According to the California Division of Tourism, overseas travelers spend 37.3 percent of their time visiting small towns, 33.2 percent touring the countryside, and 2.1 percent on ranch vacations. National travel trends are moving towards shorter-duration vacations closer to home, with an emphasis on new experiences for families and singles.
  • Agri-tourism attracts the public in California as well as other states, including Iowa, where the tourism budget is significantly higher than California's. Pennsylvania has a farm vacation guide that includes a number of farms accredited by the state to offer farm stays. Farm stays range from simple accommodations in the extra bedroom to overnighting in a separate house adjacent to the family's. Guests eat with the family, feed the animals, and help with farm chores.